The IONA® test for genetic diseases

by | Mar 4, 2020 | News

With a higher detection rate than the combined screening available on the NHS.


IONA® – a non-invasive test for genetic diseases

All Agora patients are offered an early pregnancy scan following their treatment – usually at around seven weeks – along with any additional scans or tests that are required.

However, we are now able to offer the IONA® test – a non-invasive pregnancy test (NIPT) to detect genetic abnormalities – which is not currently available on the NHS and can be carried out from 10 weeks.

Safe, fast, and accurate

The IONA® test, which is suitable for all single and twin pregnancies, is safe, fast and 99% accurate in detecting pregnancies affected by genetic diseases including Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edward’s syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau’s syndrome (Trisomy 13). It can also predict the sex of your baby if you want to know this.

Additional reassurance

Agora Clinic Manager, Melanie Callister, commented, “We are very excited to be able to offer this test to our patients as we are aware many are looking for extra reassurance that standard testing on the NHS doesn’t provide.” She added, “We have decided on the IONA® test due to its accuracy and turnaround time for results; it is also processed in a UK-based laboratory.”

Following a repeat ultrasound scan to confirm the pregnancy, a simple blood test is taken from your arm. In most cases, the results are available within seven working days and can be given to you in a follow-up consultation with the healthcare professional who performed the scan. If, for any reason, the ultrasound scan suggests that the IONA® blood test isn’t required, only the cost of the scan is chargeable.

Follow-up advice

Medical Director Carole Gilling-Smith explained:

“We are mindful of the fact that patients who have experienced the emotional rollercoaster of fertility treatment often want reassurance both from scanning and genetic screening tests during early pregnancy. There is increasing concern amongst UK Fertility Consultants that this service is being provided by small independent midwife or nurse-led clinics who simply don’t have the medical knowledge or expertise to advise patients correctly when an abnormality is identified. Our Consultants at the Agora have extensive knowledge of early pregnancy problems and will ensure that, following the IONA® test, patients are advised correctly and, where necessary, are referred swiftly to experts in genetic counselling and Fetal Medicine.”