Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is amniocentesis?
- Who is a candidate for amniocentesis?
- What does amniocentesis show?
- When should amniocentesis be performed?
- Is amniocentesis safe?
- Amniocentesis At A Glance
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Amniocentesis At A Glance
- Amniocentesis may be performed for chromosome analysis or the detection of genetic defects and conditions in the fetus.
- Pregnant women over the age of 35 years are candidates for amniocentesis to detect chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus.
- Amniocentesis can also be used to determine the maturity of the lungs of the fetus or the cause of unknown fever in the mother.
- For genetic testing, chromosome analysis, and the evaluation of an abnormal alpha feto protein test, amniocentesis is usually performed between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy.
- The risk of fetal loss from the amniocentesis procedure is less than 1%.
Reference: ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 88, Dec. 2007. Invasive Prenatal Testing for Aneuploidy. Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Dec;110(6):1459-67.
Last Editorial Review: 10/17/2008
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