The Japanese Association of Medical Sciences has designated 15 institutions to conduct prenatal diagnoses to check for chromosome abnormalities in fetuses, including one that causes Down syndrome, the association said.
Showa University, one of the 15, has already taken blood samples from five women, including older pregnant women, after giving them counseling. The samples will be tested in the U.S. and the results are expected to be available two weeks later.
All 15 institutions, also including the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo, are members of the NIPT Consortium, a Japanese research group. NIPT is short for noninvasive prenatal genetic testing.
The other 13 are Hokkaido University, Iwate Medical University, Miyagi Children’s Hospital, Yokohama City University, Niigata University, Nagoya City University, Fujita Health University in Aichi Prefecture, Osaka University, Osaka City General Hospital, the University of Tokushima, Ehime University, Kyushu Medical Center of the National Hospital Organization, and Nagasaki University.