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December 11, 1996

A 35-Year-Old Pregnant Woman Considering Maternal Serum Screening and Amniocentesis, 1 Year Later

JAMA. 1996;276(22):1840. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540220064032

In January 1996, at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Grand Rounds, Dr Michael Mennuti discussed a 35-year-old woman who was in the first trimester of her fourth pregnancy. Mrs J had 2 healthy young children at the time and no medical or family history of risk factors for fetal or chromosomal abnormalities. She was not inclined to have an amniocentesis, both because of the risk of miscarriage associated with amniocentesis and because she and her husband were not inclined to terminate the pregnancy in the second trimester if an amniocentesis demonstrated fetal or chromosomal abnormalities. She was, however, considering maternal serum screening to help her and her husband decide whether to pursue amniocentesis.

Dr Mennuti discussed the risks and benefits associated with chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, and maternal serum screening followed by amniocentesis where indicated. He also discussed the incidence of Down syndrome, neural tube defects, and other chromosomal abnormalities. He