Finding reasons for miscarriage, years later

Submitted by Shelby D Burns Sun 03/23/2014

An alternative DNA test offers clinically relevant genetic information which can identify why a miscarriage may have occurred years earlier. The technique used to discover the abnormalities is called “rescue karyotyping”. It allows physicians to get important genetic information from archived tissue which had not been tested at the time of the miscarriage. As a part of standard hospital protocol, tissue from miscarriages is saved for archival use. The karyotyping testis performed on DNA extracted from these samples. Helping women find answers “Given the ease of obtaining results, even if a delay in testing occurs, this new test may provide a useful technique to gain a better understanding as to why miscarriage occurs in some women,” explained Zev Williams, MD, PhD, director, Program for Early and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (PEARL), Montefiore and Einstein, assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health and of genetics at Einstein. ”I have seen women in tears because testing was not done at the time of the miscarriage and they feared they would never learn why it happened. Now we are able to go back and often get the answers we need.” New test provides explanation, guides treatment One in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage. The majority occur in the first trimester. Recurrent miscarriage – two or more miscarriages – happens in up to 5% of couples trying to conceive. “Most miscarriages are caused by an abnormal number of chromosomes in the embryo, accounting for up to 75% of first trimester losses,” noted Dr. Williams. “This new test can help guide future treatment options but, more importantly, can also help alleviate some of the guilt and self-blame often associated with unexplained miscarriage and can close a door on a painful chapter in a woman’s and couple’s life.”

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