Amniocentesis counseling issues

V. Corson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The continued expansion of genetic services was supported to increase the availability of amniocentesis to any patient requesting the service. Genetic counseling should always precede diagnostic testing. Information about 'nonindicated' tests should be shared with couples having amniocentesis for other reasons. Such tests (ie, chromosome studies) could be offered or arranged elsewhere, if possible. Any cytogenetics laboratory at capacity may need to limit patient services to assure quality results. Referrals can be made to other tertiary care centers, private obstetricians or commercial laboratories. A national task force might be former to explore options for geographic uniformity for provision of services. Obstetricians should be responsible for referring, possibly recommending but never deciding for their patients whether to have diagnostic testing. Establishment of support groups for patients who experience a termination following the diagnosis of a fetal abnormality would provide better follow-up opportunities and communication among patients with similar difficult experiences. Contacts should be offered to patients considering amniocentesis or termination following the diagnosis of an anomaly with parents of a similarly handicapped offspring, or couples who have experienced termination under comparable circumstances. Continuing education for obstetricians should be available with emphasis on appropriate referrals and identification of risk situations. Delivery of abnormal results should be handled as humanely as possible. Referring obstetricians should be kept informed of any complications in their patients' studies and in some circumstances, might be appropriate as the communicators of results of a fetal abnormality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-135
Number of pages6
JournalBirth Defects: Original Article Series
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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