Chorionic Villus Sample (CVS)
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a test performed at approximately 10 to 13.5 weeks of gestation to determine whether the fetus has certain conditions. It is often used when the mother is age 35 or older, has a high-risk screen, an abnormality on ultrasound, or if any inherited conditions run in either of the parents’ families.
The chorionic villus is placental tissue. A small sample is removed for biopsy, either via the cervix or the abdomen. An ultrasound is used for guidance during the procedure. Most patients report some discomfort and pressure, but the procedure only takes a few minutes. Any discomfort is usually gone within the first few hours after the procedure.
While CVS is a common form of testing considered safe when administered by an experienced physician, it is associated with some risks. Potential complications of CVS may include miscarriage, bleeding, infection, membrane rupture, and Rh incompatibility in the mother.
The CVS cannot detect neural tube defects, such as spinal bifida. If you have the CVS, you’ll be offered a blood screening test in your second trimester called a Maternal Serum alpha-fetoprotein(MSAFP) test.
A laboratory will assess the CVS sample for any indications of abnormalities in the chromosomes and/or DNA. The results are typically ready in 7-10 calendar days. CVS primarily provides information about chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and trisomy 13, but when indicated, can also test for over 200 other conditions, including: cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, fragile X syndrome, spinal muscular atrophy, Tay-Sachs disease, and hemophilia.
Additional testing, called a microarray, can be performed on the CVS at the patient’s request and can detect hundreds of additional genetic disorders. Please go to mytestingoptions.com for more information.