Fetal & Perinatal MedicineMaternity Clinic
The IASO Fetal and Perinatal Medicine Department is headed by Mr. Aristeidis Antsaklis, MD, PhD, FRCOG, (Hon.), Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology at the University of Athens, and staffed with fully qualified associates / fetal medicine specialists, who have been officially certified by the Fetal Medicine Foundation and have long experience in recognized prenatal diagnosis centers in Greece and abroad. The Department works closely with international centers of excellence and regularly organizes events and conferences, aiming to promote the ongoing training of its doctors/associates.
The Department has an independent reception, an operating license for the internationally recognized ASTRAIA software, eight fully-equipped exam rooms with advanced 4D/HD Live ultrasound equipment, a cardiotocography lab, and a special area for parent counseling, under the guidance of a Medical Council for cases requiring a second opinion. The Department is supported by the IASO Central Labs or works with certified external labs for the necessary lab tests.
The Fetal and Perinatal Medicine Department performs all the necessary prenatal diagnosis ultrasound and invasive exams. At the end of each ultrasound exam, patients receive a detailed medical opinion, as well as the printed images.
Nuchal translucency ultrasound
The nuchal translucency ultrasound is performed between weeks 11 and 14 of gestation. The presence of subcutaneous fluid behind the fetal neck (nuchal translucency) is observed during the ultrasound, while the pregnancy age and possible delivery date are determined. The ultrasound check is completed with a lab test for two maternal hormones (PAPP-A, β-hcg), aiming to determine the risk of development of three very common chromosomal anomalies (Down syndrome / trisomy 21, Patau syndrome / trisomy 13, Edward’s syndrome / trisomy 18).
Level 2 ultrasound
The level 2 ultrasound is performed between weeks 20 and 24 of gestation. The ultrasound is used to study in detail fetal anatomy and detect most congenital disorders, possible placental disorders and the chance of early labor.
The Doppler ultrasound is performed during the third trimester, after week 28 of gestation (usually between weeks 32 and 33) and is used to examine fetal development, the quantity of amniotic fluid, the position and morphology of the placenta, the blood flow in the fetal cerebral vessels and umbilical cord, and fetal movement.
The biophysical profile is performed during the second half of the third trimester of pregnancy and consists of two parts: 1) cardiotocography (NST), which studies fetal movement under non-stress conditions and
2) Doppler ultrasound.
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT)
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) may be performed after the 10th week of gestation, through a simple blood draw from the mother, to study the genetic material of the fetus. The Fetal Medicine Department offers the option of selecting among the most reliable NIPT methods internationally.
Depending on the test you choose, it may detect:
- chromosomal anomalies (T21, T18, T13)
- sex chromosome aneuploidies (Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, Triple X syndrome, Jacobs syndrome, XXYY syndrome)
- microdeletion syndrome (DiGeorge syndrome, 1p36 deletion syndrome, Cri-du-Chat syndrome, Prader Willi syndrome, Angelman syndrome, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, Smith-Magenis syndrome, Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome)
- 50 single-gene disorders (a mouth swab is required from the biological father)
If the result is positive, invasive testing is recommended with chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis to confirm the diagnosis.
Please contact the Department secretary for detailed information about the options and limitations of non-invasive genetic testing.
Amniocentesis is performed after week 16 of gestation (usually between weeks 16 and 19), when the lab and/or ultrasound findings render further testing necessary, always taking into account the age of the mother and her medical history. A fine needle is inserted transabdominally under continuous ultrasound guidance, and a small quantity of amniotic fluid is aspired and studied in the lab. The rapid analysis results (QF-PCR) for the main chromosomes (T21, T18, T13, sex chromosomes) are available in 2 working days, while the karyotype and molecular karyotype results are available in 10 working days. The accuracy of the results is close to 99.9%. Amniocentesis is performed only if there are indications, as the risk of miscarriage is 0.1% in the general population.
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is performed between weeks 11 and 14 of gestation, when the lab and/or ultrasound findings render further testing necessary, always taking into account the age of the mother and her medical history. A fine needle is inserted transabdominally under continuous ultrasound guidance and a small quantity of chorionic villi is aspired from the placenta and studied in the lab. The rapid analysis results (QF-PCR) for the main chromosomes (T21, T18, T13, sex chromosomes) are available in 2 working days, while the karyotype and molecular karyotype results are available in 10 working days. The accuracy of the results is close to 99.9%. Chorionic villus sampling is performed only if there are indications, as the risk of miscarriage is 0.2% in the general population.
Multifetal pregnancy reduction
Multifetal pregnancy reduction may be performed between weeks 11 and 12 of gestation. It is an invasive procedure to reduce the number of fetuses if there are specific indications of serious complications both for the mother and the fetuses. A fine needle is inserted transabdominally under continuous ultrasound guidance and cardiac asystole of the selected fetus is induced via intracardiac potassium chloride infusion. The invasive reduction procedure carries a 4% risk of miscarriage when the initial number of fetuses is three, while it is 6-8% when the initial number is over four.