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Fetal mortality at the time of chorionic villi sampling

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To estimate the background fetal loss rates among women who might be candidates for chorionic villi sampling (CVS) for prenatal diagnosis, we examined the frequency of spontaneous abortion and of non-viable fetuses in two groups of women thought to be pregnant at 8–12 weeks' gestation. Among 1519 women over 35 years given an appointment for amniocentesis 1978–1981, 9.8% had a spontaneous abortion prior to 16 weeks' gestation. For those under observation before week 12, the loss rate by 16 weeks was 15.3%. Among all 190 candidates for elective termination of pregnancy between 6 and 12 weeks' gestation, 12.6% were found to have a non-viable fetus at the scheduled date of abortion. The frequency of non-viability was 14% among those seen before week 12. The data suggest that the background loss rate between the time of CVS and the time of amniocentesis is approximately 1–2% and is unlikely to be higher than 9%. Until randomized clinical trials of the procedure are completed we will not know how much, if at all, the loss rate associated with CVS is increased above this background. Nevertheless, knowledge of these background risk estimates may be useful in counseling women considering participating in trials of CVS.

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Correspondence to Abby Lippman.

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Lippman, A., Vekemans, M.J.J. & Perry, T.B. Fetal mortality at the time of chorionic villi sampling. Hum Genet 68, 337–339 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00292596

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  • Clinical Trial
  • Internal Medicine
  • Metabolic Disease
  • Loss Rate
  • Risk Estimate