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July 6, 1984

NIH considers large-scale study to evaluate chorionic villi sampling

JAMA. 1984;252(1):11-15. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350010003001

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The next major development in chorionic villi sampling may be a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

When the technique was introduced in the United States last summer (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1983; 250:1249-1250), it was suggested that this approach to the prenatal diagnosis of genetic defects some day might replace amniocentesis. The suggestion was made in part because chorionic villi sampling is performed during the first trimester of pregnancy and preliminary results are available within 24 hours.

The procedure, which was developed in Europe in the late 1960s, involves passing a 16-cm plastic catheter with a 1.5-mm flexible aluminum obturator through the vagina into the uterus and up to the chorionic villi. This is done with the aid of ultrasound imaging. About 30 mg of tissue are suctioned out for chromosome analysis. Some of the countries in which the technique is being used are China, Denmark,