Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)

When you are pregnant you want and need clear answers and the best information for peace of mind.

MUMS offer two NIPT options.

  1. Illumina NIPT
  2. Panorama NIPT

A Non-Invasive Prenatal Test is a test offered in pregnancy to screen for common chromosomal conditions, without the risk of miscarriage. This is a blood test usually performed in conjunction with an ultrasound scan. The scan is a dating/viability scan.

The test is a DNA/screening test where a sample of blood is taken from the mother from as early as 9 weeks gestation for Panorama and 10 weeks for Illumina.

This simple prenatal genetic blood test reveals the likelihood of your baby having a condition such as Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18), and Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13) and other specific chromosome conditions. There is also an option for you reveal the gender of the baby with a NIPT when the result is processed.

Nuchal Translucency 1st Trimester combined screening test – is the traditional way of screening for Downs Syndrome in the NHS and is carried out between 11-14 weeks. This test gives you a risk based on the Nuchal Translucency measurement, hormone blood results and maternal age. It is not as accurate as the Gold Standard – NIPT – Illumina and Panorama. The detection rate from Nuchal Screening is 85-90% whereas NIPT Testing detection rates are 99.9% accurate for Downs Syndrome. Women may still choose to have their NHS 12-week scan and Nuchal Screening (or privately) but have NIPT privately.

The NIPT test performance is superior to traditional screening for Downs Syndrome. The NIPT test is the most accurate screening which is non-invasive using cfDNA (cell free DNA) to detect chromosome abnormalities. Chromosomal conditions such as Downs Syndrome do not typically run in families and can happen to anyone in pregnancy, although the chance of having a baby with Downs Syndrome increases with age. However, most babies born with Downs Syndrome are born to women under the age of 35, as the uptake of screening is less common in this age range.

Sex chromosome aneuploidy conditions are included in MUMS NIPT. These conditions occur when there is a missing, extra, or incomplete copy of the X or Y chromosome. Both Illumina and Panorama NIPT include the sex chromosome aneuploidy panel to assess risks for abnormal X and Y chromosomes for example Klinefelter and Turner syndromes.

The NIPT does not provide information on other physical defects such as spina bifida, or information on fetal growth. It is therefore recommended that the mother has all the usual ultrasound scans during her pregnancy.

At the time of birth, Downs Syndrome is the most prevalent trisomy, diagnosed in new-borns. It can cause digestive problems, congenital heart issues, and other deformities in addition to being linked to moderate to severe intellectual/learning difficulties.

A high rate of miscarriage is linked to Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome. These affected babies have multiple abnormalities including congenital heart problems and significant cognitive abnormalities incompatible with independent life. Only a few affected new-borns survive past their first year of life, the majority pass away during pregnancy or shortly after birth.

We recommend Illumina NIPT

  • The Illumina NIPT test we will offer includes Downs/Edwards and Patau syndromes, fetal sex, and sex chromosome aneuploidy options.
  • Requires fetal fraction of 1% - reduced chance of test failure 
  • Faster turnaround time – approx. 7 days.

However – we recommend Panorama for:

  • Twin pregnancy – Panorama generates gender and risk for each baby.
  • Extended panel microdeletions and 22q


Illumina NIPT with USS £425
Illumina NIPT without USS (scan within 48 hours) £385  £385
Panorama NIPT base test with USS £475
Panorama NIPT base test only without USS (scan within 48hrs) £425
Panorama NIPT extended panel with USS  £650
Panorama NIPT extended panel without USS (scan within 48hrs)  £600

Frequently Asked Questions