Sidra Medicine Introduces Advanced Maternal Fetal Medicine Services

Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT), second opinion ultrasound now available

19 November 2019, Doha, Qatar - Sidra Medicine, has announced the introduction of advanced Maternal-Fetal Medicine services such as prenatal screening tests; availability for second opinion ultrasounds; Amniocentesis; and Chorionic Villus sampling (CVS).

Sidra Medicine provides tailored, comprehensive and multidisciplinary medical services for women, children and young people in Qatar, has now expanded its maternal-fetal medicine offering with the new services.

Prof. Karim Kalache, Division Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine stated: "Our team conducts the latest diagnostic tests and therapies, which allows the safest and most optimised setting during the delivery and beyond. We offer full support for the mother and her family. Our maternal-fetal medicine experts and obstetricians specialize in individualised prenatal care, which is planned in a multidisciplinary setting, involving patients from the beginning.”

The new Prenatal non-invasive screening tests reduce the risk of harm to the baby. Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) can be offered to accurately detect fetal chromosomal anomalies early in pregnancy by assessing cell-free fetal DNA present in maternal blood.

"It is important that NIPT is available to all women since it is considered accurate and safe. The method also omits unnecessary invasive testing that can put the mother-to-be under stress. It is also important that physicians have ample knowledge about the test to allow informed choice,” continued Prof. Kalache.

Non-invasive tests are a screening tool in low-risk pregnancies and have the advantage of reassuring the parents without undertaking the risk involved in invasive genetic testing. Invasive genetic testing like Amniocentesis and CVS are recommended only for high-risk pregnancies where the fetus is at risk of chromosomal or genetic abnormalities or if a fetal infection is suspected.

"NIPT is a simple blood test where the sample is taken from the mother but can provide important information about the baby. By considering non-invasive methods first, and limiting the number of needed invasive tests like Amniocentesis or CVS, we ensure a positive and reassuring impact for both the mother and family," says Dr. Medhat Alberry, Senior Attending Physician, Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

“Our approach to care is based on being supportive and family focused. Within the Maternal-Fetal Medicine context, this also includes counselling regarding the results and discussing further options of management,” continued Dr. Alberry.

Amniocentesis is a process in which amniotic fluid is sampled using a hollow needle inserted into the uterus, to screen for abnormalities in the developing fetus. While Chorionic Villus sampling is a prenatal test that is used to detect birth defects, genetic diseases, and other problems during pregnancy. A small sample of cells (called chorionic villi) is taken from the placenta for testing.

Sidra Medicine also specializes in second opinion ultrasounds. “We are proud to have amongst us highly-trained and experienced specialists to ensure the best possible second opinion diagnoses. Pregnant women should not be afraid to ask for a second opinion as this will help them feeling more confident that they have made the best decision possible with the best information possible before opting for treatment.” concluded Prof. Kalache.

Sidra Medicine’s Women’s Services is open to all women and does not require a referral. To arrange for a consultation with a maternal fetal medicine specialist and obstetricians at Sidra Medicine, contact the Women’s Care Coordination Team on +974 4003 3333 (from 7.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m) or via email

Read the Arabic here.

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