Non-invasive prenatal diagnosis - a new era

  • Shifana Lalani MSc, BSc Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • William Lau BPharm Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia


Recent advancements in genetics have changed the field of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD). From the 1990’s, cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) has been detected in maternal plasma. Since then researchers have tried to enhance detection and quantification techniques in order to utilize this DNA in early prenatal diagnosis. As technology advances, there are a number of concerns requiring discussion – including ethical considerations of non-invasive prenatal testing, commercial utilization, and implementation into prenatal screening protocols. This commentary hopes to introduce cffDNA, the techniques used for detection, and ethical considerations for the future.