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Education about NIPS (NIPT)

As a healthcare provider, you know that offering NIPS (NIPT) is standard of care for all pregnant patients and that it’s important patients understand what their results may indicate, the possibility of false positive and false negative results and the importance of follow-up diagnostic testing, if clinically indicated.1

When patients are considering NIPS (NIPT) and have questions about the screening, we’d like to offer some insights that can help you educate your patients about the difference between screening and diagnostic tests and their respective benefits and limitations.


Educating Patients About NIPS (NIPT)

What do your patients need to know about NIPS (NIPT)?

Advantages of NIPS (NIPT)

NIPS (NIPT) offers advances over older technologies because it’s much more sensitive and is accepted as standard of care as a screening test.1

Discover more patient-friendly resources about Labcorp’s NIPS (NIPT) options.

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Scientists Working in The Laboratory, Using Touch Screen

The possibility of false negative and false positive NIPS (NIPT) results

All screening tests, including NIPS (NIPT), can result in rare false positive or false negative results.2,3 Since the sample obtained for an NIPS (NIPT) test includes DNA fragments from both the developing placenta and the pregnant patient, differences in either of these could suggest an increased risk to the developing fetus. However, there can be cases with: 

  • An abnormal fetus and a normal placenta
  • A normal fetus and an abnormal placenta
  • A population of abnormal cells in the pregnant patient that don’t strongly affect phenotype but can influence an NIPS (NIPT) result

Diagnostic testing, if clinically indicated, can help determine if the atypical fragments identified are truly reflective of a fetal condition.

Work with our genetic counselors who can help guide conversations with your patients about NIPS (NIPT) results and more.


The difference between screening and diagnostic testing

For patients who are unsure of the difference between screening and diagnostic testing, it’s important to provide clarity. NIPS (NIPT) is a screening test, meaning it’s designed to identify whether your pregnancy is at increased risk to be affected with the condition being screened. Diagnostic tests, on the other hand, can provide a definitive “yes” or “no” diagnosis for the condition in question.

Explore more patient educational resources on screening vs. diagnostic testing.


Pipette adding sample to petri dish with DNA profiles in background


1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Current ACOG Guidance NIPT Summary of Recommendations. Accessed December 27, 2022.

2. Palomaki GE, Kloza EM, Lambert-Messerlian GM. DNA sequencing of maternal plasma to detect Down syndrome: An international clinical validation study. Genetic Med. 2011 Nov;13(11):913-20. doi: 10.1097/GIM/0b013e3182368a0e.

3. Palomaki GE, Deciu C, Kloza EM. DNA sequencing of maternal plasma reliably identifies trisomy 18 and trisomy 13 as well as Down syndrome: an international collaborative study. Genetic Med. 2012 Mar;14(3):296-305. doi: 10.1038/gim.2011.73.