Percutaneous Umbilical Blood sampling (PUBS) or Cordocentesis

October 6, 2011

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What is a Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS)?

Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS) or cordocentesis is a procedure which involves inserting a long needle into the umbilical vein in order to take a small sample of blood from the fetus.

When is it Performed?

PUBS is generally performed after 18 weeks of pregnancy. Prior to this point the umbilical vein is too fragile.

PUBS is performed only at specialized centers.

What Can the Results Tell You?

PUBS can tell you if your baby has chromosomal abnormalities or genetic disorders.

It can tell if the baby has anemia or Rh disease.

It can also indicate if the baby has developed an infection such as toxoplasmosis, rubella, chicken pox, and others. It can also be used to asses the condition of the fetus when there is intrauterine growth retardation or restriction.

What Are the Risks?

PUBS has a 2 percent risk of fetal death, more than twice the risk of CVS or amniocentesis.

Other risks are infection, cramping, bleeding, fluid leakage, and temporary slowing of the baby’s heart rate.

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