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Amniocentesis Has Lower Risk of Miscarriage Than Thought

Study finds procedure-related loss risk of 1 in 1,600 as opposed to often-cited 1 in 200

THURSDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Midtrimester amniocentesis carries a 0.06 percent risk of procedure-related miscarriage, and there is no significant difference in the rates of pregnancy loss between women who undergo amniocentesis and those who do not, according to a study in the November issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Keith A. Eddleman, M.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues conducted a study of 35,003 women with viable singleton pregnancies enrolled between 10 and 14 weeks gestation into the First and Second Trimester Evaluation of Risk for Aneuploidy trial. Of these, 3,096 women (the study group) underwent midtrimester amniocentesis and 31,907 (the control group) did not.

Spontaneous fetal loss at less than 24 weeks' gestation was 1.0 percent for the amniocentisis group, versus 0.94 percent for the control group, a statistically insignificant procedure-related loss rate of 0.06 percent. Women who underwent amniocentesis were 10 percent more likely to have a spontaneous loss compared to women who did not have amniocentesis.

The findings equate to "an amniocentesis procedure-related loss risk of approximately 1 in 1,600 and is substantially lower than the traditionally quoted risk of 1 in 200," Eddleman and colleagues conclude. "Such contemporary data will likely have a significant effect on how patients are counseled in current clinical practice and may also have a significant effect on choices regarding invasive and noninvasive screening for fetal aneuploidy."

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