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Medical News and Perspectives
December 13, 2006

Study Downgrades Amniocentesis Risk

JAMA. 2006;296(22):2663-2664. doi:10.1001/jama.296.22.2663

The risk of miscarriage as a result of amniocentesis to detect chromosomal abnormalities in a fetus has long caused concern for women considering the invasive procedure and likely has deterred some from having it. Now, results from a large multicenter trial suggest that these risks may be much smaller than previously believed.

Guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have cited the risk of miscarriage after amniocentesis at 0.5% or 1 in 200 pregnancies. But results from a recent study suggest the risk of miscarriage is 0.06% or 1 in 1600 pregnancies (Eddleman KA et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2006;108:1067-1072). In fact, the study found no significant difference in rates of pregnancy loss between women who had an amniocentesis and those who did not.

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