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Doctor performs amniocentesis on a pregnant woman

Doctor performs amniocentesis on a pregnant woman

M800/0045

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Credit

BSIP LAURENT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP LAURENT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Amniocentesis. Doctor performs an amniocentesis test on a pregnant woman. In one hand the doctor holds an ultrasound transducer to detect the foetus in the uterus. In the other hand a syringe is used to draw amniotic fluid from the sac surrounding the foetus. About 30 millilitres of fluid is removed. Foetal cells in the amniotic fluid are then tested for chromosomal or other genetic disorders, such as Down's syndrome and cystic fibrosis. Because of risks associated with this test (slightly increased chances of a miscarriage), amniocentesis is only recommended for women whose chance of a foetal disorder is high.

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