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Section 11 – What is a quantitative fluorescence-polymerase chain reaction (QF-PCR) test?

QF-PCR test on a chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis sample following a higher chance result from the combined or quadruple screening tests or a high chance NIPT test


QF-PCR test will look for the following chromosome conditions in the baby.

  • Down’s syndrome (T21)
  • Edwards’ syndrome (T18)
  • Patau’s syndrome. (T13)

It will not tell you the sex of your baby.

QF-PCR test for any other reason than a higher/ high chance result

If your QF-PCR test is being done for any other reason, your obstetrician or genetic counsellor will discuss the specific conditions the test will give you a result for.

QF-PCR result

If you have had an amniocentesis procedure, your QF-PCR result is usually available within three calendar days.

About 4% (1 in 25) amniocenteses will not be able to give a result within this time. In these cases the cells from your baby that are floating in the amniotic fluid are grown (cultured) in the laboratory. This result will be available in 10 to 14 calendar days. This does not mean it is more likely that there is a problem with your baby.

If you have had CVS the result is usually available within 10 to 14 calendar days.

The person taking the sample will have asked you how you would like to receive your results.

In about 4% or 5% (four or five in 100) of QF-PCR tests we may need blood samples from you and the baby’s father to help us get a clearer result. Again this does not mean it is more likely that there is a problem with your baby.

If the test shows your baby has Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome or Patau’s syndrome, the laboratory will do a further test called a karyotype test to see if any other babies you may have in the future could have the condition.