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Health Tip: Amniocentesis Can Identify Birth Defects

What the test can tell you

(HealthDay News) -- Amniocentesis is a diagnostic procedure in which a needle is inserted into the abdomen of a pregnant woman, entering the uterus.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine says the needle withdraws a small amount of uterine fluid, which can be tested for signs of the following birth defects:

  • Down syndrome and other chromosomal disorders.
  • Spina bifida, anencephaly (partial brain formation), and other structural birth defects.
  • Infection.
  • Rh incompatibility.
  • Lung immaturity.
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