The next generation of prenatal screening now in NZ

We’re excited to announce the next generation of non-invasive prenatal screening, Illumiscreen, is now available in Aotearoa New Zealand from across the APHG laboratory network.

Non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS), sometimes known as NIPT, has been available for quite some time to screen fetal DNA for trisomy 21 (Down), 18 (Edward), 13 (Patau).

We now have the latest technology in New Zealand that allows us to obtain a comprehensive view of all 23 chromosome pairs of the fetal genome while continuing to limit any risk to your patients.

As well as the more commonly known syndromes like Down, Edward, Patau and Turner (XO) syndromes, the expanded range of chromosome conditions that can now be screened for include, but are not limited to Klinefelter (XXY), Jacob (XYY), and Triple-X (XXX) syndromes as well as partial deletions and duplications of chromosomes (Cri du Chat, Angelman syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome and Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome), all of which can be associated with adverse clinical and pregnancy outcomes such as developmental delays, intellectual disabilities and premature labour.

Our screening service, Illumiscreen, can be requested for patients from 10 weeks onwards to inform further testing, and support pregnancy and delivery decisions for you and your patient.

Medical societies endorse NIPS as having the highest detection rate and lowest false positive rate of all prenatal screening options for the common aneuploidies, regardless of maternal age or baseline risk.

Blood sample collection for this screen is available at all of our usual collection centres with a turnaround time of 5-7 days from arrival at our Auckland laboratory, Labtests.

New resources and more detailed information have been developed for healthcare providers about Illumiscreen and are available at

NIPS is a highly reliable non-invasive prenatal screening test – it is not a diagnostic test. NIPS is currently not a publicly funded service.