Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

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What is chorionic villus sampling (CVS)?

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Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a type of prenatal diagnostic test to detect chromosomal problems that can result in genetic diseases and birth defects. It involves taking a small sample of part of the placenta (the chorionic villi) where it is attached to the wall of the uterus.

CVS can diagnose chromosomal abnormalities that cause conditions like Down syndrome, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and Tay Sachs disease. It does not diagnose neural tube defects. Since the procedure examines genetic material, it can tell you the gender of the fetus.

CVS is performed earlier in pregnancy than amniocentesis. It is done between the 10th and 13th week of pregnancy (measured from your last menstrual period). It is reported to be 98% to 99% accurate in detecting genetic abnormalities. CVS can also be used to detect paternity and is 99% accurate in establishing paternity of a fetus.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/30/2013

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