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Loyola offers leading-edge prenatal test

Chorionic villus sampling helps couples prepare for birth of special needs child

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Health System (LUHS) now offers chorionic villus sampling (CVS), a highly accurate prenatal test for chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. Loyola is one of the few centers in the Chicago area to offer CVS.

This test is performed during the first trimester to identify genetic disorders, including Down syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis. This test can be performed earlier than an amniocentesis and is generally done when a couple receives a positive prenatal screening result, when there is a known genetic disorder in the family or when the mother is older than 35 and at greater risk for having a child with chromosomal defects. Unlike genetic screening tests performed during pregnancy, CVS gives expectant parents a definitive diagnosis of certain genetic disorders.

“CVS offers expectant parents who receive a positive test result information to help them prepare emotionally and medically for a child with special needs,” said Thaddeus Waters, MD, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist at Loyola. “As a Level III perinatal center, Loyola also provides these parents and their infants with access to the highest level of medical resources during pregnancy and after delivery."

In CVS, a sample of genetic material is collected from the mother’s placenta. This is done through a thin catheter in the vagina and cervix or a needle in the abdomen. Ultrasound imaging is used to guide the catheter or needle. Test results are available in 10 to 14 days.

“There are risks associated with CVS, so the test should be performed by a skilled clinician who has been properly trained,” said Dr. Waters, who also is an assistant professor in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. “Loyola physicians are equipped to conduct this test and to counsel expectant parents who receive a positive test result.”

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

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