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High-Risk Pregnancy (Maternal and Fetal Medicine)

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS Testing)


Albany Med is the only facility in the region that offers chorionic villus sampling (CVS), a test conducted during early pregnancy to identify potential health problems in the fetus. In this prenatal test, a sample piece of placental tissue, or chorionic villi, which make up most of the placenta and share the baby’s genetic makeup, is removed from the placenta for testing.

The sample is used to study DNA, chromosomes and enzymes of the fetus. CVS testing can reveal whether the fetus has a chromosomal abnormality, such as Down syndrome, or it may reveal other genetic disorders, including Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis. CVS may be recommended if there are increased risks for genetic or chromosomal problems with the fetus and concerns about the management of the pregnancy.

Typically conducted between weeks 10 and 13 of pregnancy, CVS can be done earlier than other prenatal diagnostic tests, such as amniocentesis.

Working in conjunction with our registered medical sonographers, our physicians safely and effectively obtain enough tissue for testing. In addition, our genetic counselors discuss with women the risks and benefits of prenatal screening and tests. Our patients are encouraged to ask many questions so they understand their options and why a particular test is being conducted.

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