M.D. Perfects Test for Birth Defects

A doctor at Northridge Hospital Medical Center is refining a technique for assessing the genetic condition of a fetus far earlier in pregnancy than is possible with amniocentesis, the established method.

The technique, called chorionic villi sampling, will allow severe birth defects to be detected early enough for a woman to terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester. Amniocentesis, in which a needle is used to draw off amniotic fluid, cannot be performed until the 16th week, and three weeks must pass before results are known.

Dr. Kahil Tabsch is one of only six physicians in the United States performing the chorionic villi sampling procedure.

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