Overview

percept™ is an Australian non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) offered by The Victorian Clinical Genetics Services (VCGS). This is a screening test for identifying pregnancies at increased chance of having a chromosome condition such as Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome.

Screening can be performed any time from 10 weeks of pregnancy. Results are available in 3-5 business days (from when the laboratory receives the sample).

percept™: simple, fast, reliable.

VCGS offers a complete service with percept™ including pre- and post test genetic counselling, clinical interpretation and ongoing follow-up. This makes percept™ the most comprehensive NIPT service in Australia.

percept™ Australian non invasive prenatal test NIPT

What is this test?

NIPT is an advanced screening test that uses cell-free fetal DNA (cfDNA) found in the maternal blood to identify the most common chromosome conditions found in newborns. cfDNA is released from the placenta into the maternal blood stream as part of the growth and development the baby.

Screening is safe and poses no threat to the pregnancy because it uses a simple blood sample collected from the mother. NIPT is the most accurate prenatal screening test for Down syndrome.

When can I have percept™?
percept™ is available from 10 weeks of pregnancy (as confirmed by a dating scan). There is no upper gestation limit for testing, but the ideal time is between 11-16 weeks. This ensures there is enough time for any follow-up testing that may be required. Discuss with your doctor or genetic counsellor before opting for NIPT later in pregnancy.

percept™ can be performed in 2 ways.
Option 1: percept™ can be performed as a first line prenatal screening test. VCGS recommends that patients also consider having the 12-week nuchal translucency ultrasound to check the structural development of the baby.

Option 2: percept™ can be performed as a second screening test, after having combined first trimester screening (cFTS). If you received a ‘screen positive’ result from cFTS or would like further reassurance, additional screening with percept™ may help in decision making.

What conditions does this test look for?

percept™ is a highly accurate screening test used to identify pregnancies at increased chance of Down syndrome (trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18), Patau syndrome (trisomy 13) or sex chromosome conditions such as Turner syndrome (monosomy X) and Klinefelter syndrome (XXY). The chance of having a child with a chromosome condition increases with maternal age.

Down syndrome: is the most common chromosomal condition seen in children and adults. It is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. People with Down syndrome have some degree of intellectual disability and may have other health and developmental concerns.

Edwards syndrome: is less common than Down syndrome and is caused by an extra chromosome 18. Pregnancies with trisomy 18 usually miscarry and babies that are live born rarely survive beyond a few weeks of life. All babies with Edwards syndrome have significant physical and intellectual problems.

Patau syndrome: is even less common than Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome. It is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 13. Pregnancies with trisomy 13 usually miscarry and babies that are liveborn rarely survive beyond the first few weeks of life. All babies with Patau syndrome have serious health problems.

Sex chromosome conditions: are caused by changes in the number of the X and Y chromosomes present. The X and Y chromosomes determine if a baby will be male or female. Babies with Turner syndrome (monosomy X) are females who have only one X chromosome (X instead of XX). Klinefelter syndrome is not typically associated with miscarriage but can cause some developmental problems and infertility.

Please see fact sheets below for more information on these conditions.

How do I arrange a test?

Patients require a specific percept™ request form signed by their doctor or genetic counsellor.

The blood sample for percept™ can be collected anytime after 10 weeks gestation (as confirmed by a dating scan).

A specific blood tube is required for percept™ therefore, collection of your sample must be performed at one of our affiliated collection sites (see below).

No special preparation is required before this test and you do not need to book.

Collection sites

Victoria

Ballarat

Siles Health
1024 Howitt Street
Wendouree VIC 3355
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 5339 5774

Tues & Thurs (9.30am - 5.00 pm)

Berwick

Monash Health
Berwick Healthcare
76 Clyde Road
Berwick VIC 3806
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9792 8021

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 5.00pm)

Boronia

St Vincent's Pathology
41-43 Boronia Road
Boronia VIC 3155
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9761 0844

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 4.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (12.30pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (8.00am - 12.00pm)

Box Hill

St Vincent's Pathology
8 Market Street
Box Hill VIC 3128
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9897 3069

Mon - Fri (9.00am - 5.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (12.30pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (9.00am - 12.00pm)

Bulleen

St Vincent's Pathology
The Surgery Bulleen
19-21 Manningham Road
Bulleen VIC 3105
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9850 1864

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 5.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (1.00pm - 2.00pm)

Sat (8.30am - 12.00pm)

Bundoora

Austin Pathology
KIDSPATH Collection Centre
478 Grimshaw Street
Bundoora VIC 3083
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9467 9395

Mon - Fri (9.00am - 5.30pm)

Carlton

St Vincent's Pathology
The Melbourne Uni Health Service
138-146 Cardigan Street
Carlton VIC 3053
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9347 6735

Mon - Fri (9.00am - 5.00pm)

Carnegie

St Vincent's Pathology
Koornang Road Medical Centre
85 Koornang Road
Carnegie VIC 3163
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9571 3385

Mon - Fri (9.00am - 1.00pm)

Clayton

Monash Health
Jessie McPherson Consulting Suite
Suite G, 246 Clayton Road
Clayton VIC 3168
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9594 2469

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 6.00pm)

Coburg

St Vincent's Pathology
15 Munro Street
Coburg VIC 3058
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9383 6235

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 12.30pm)

Collingwood

St Vincent's Pathology
365 Hoddle Street (Melway 44 D4)
Collingwood VIC 3066
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9416 4592

Mon – Fri (8.30am – 5.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (1.00pm – 2.00pm)

Dandenong

Monash Health
Dandenong Hospital, Pathology Collection Rooms
135 David Street
Dandenong VIC 3175
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9554 8160

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 6.00pm)

Doncaster

St Vincent's Pathology
114 Williamsons Road
Doncaster VIC 3018
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9840 1202

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 4.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (12.30pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (8.00am - 12.30pm)

East Melbourne

St Vincent's Pathology
Level 2, 166 Gipps Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9928 6034

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 4.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (12.00pm - 12.30pm)

East Melbourne

St Vincent's Pathology
Grey Street Consulting Suites
Ground Floor, 141 Grey Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9415 9084

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 5.00pm)

Echuca

Goulburn Valley Health
Echuca Regional Health
Leichardt Street
Echuca VIC 3564
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 5485 5167

Mon - Thu (8.00am – 4.45pm)

Epping

Austin Pathology
130 Cooper Street
Epping VIC 3076
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9408 4839

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 5.00pm)

Epping

St Vincent's Pathology
Epping Healthcare
Shop 49, Epping Plaza, High Street
Epping VIC 3076
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 8405 3439

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 4.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (12.30pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (8.00am - 1.00pm)

Fitzroy

St Vincent's Pathology
St. Vincent’s Private Hospital
Ground Floor, 59 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy VIC 3065
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9411 7157

Mon - Fri (9.00am - 5.00pm)

Saturday (9.00am - 12.00pm)

Footscray

St Vincent's Pathology
35 Summerhill Road
Footscray VIC 3011
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9317 9486

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 4.30pm)

Lunch (closed) (12.30pm - 1.00pm)

Geelong

Siles Health
8 Myers Street
Geelong VIC 3220
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 5229 1953

Mon - Fri (9.00am - 5.00pm)

Heidelberg

Austin Pathology
9 Martin Place
Heidelberg VIC 3084
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9496 5472

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 4.00pm)

Heidelberg

Austin Pathology
Mercy Hospital for Women, Level 3
Studley Road, Heidelberg
Heidelberg VIC 3084
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 8458 4276

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 6.00pm)

Heidelberg

Austin Pathology
Level 3, Harold Stokes Building, Austin Hospital
Burgundy Street
Heidelberg VIC 3084
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9496 5472

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 5.00pm)

Sat (8.30am - 12.30pm)

Heidelberg

St Vincent's Pathology
Austin Private Consulting Suites
Heidelberg VIC 3084
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9455 3538

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 5.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (12.15pm - 12.45pm)

Sat (8.30am - 12.30pm)

Ivanhoe

St Vincent's Pathology
Shop 8, 147-149 Upper Heidelberg Road
Ivanhoe VIC 3079
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9497 5921

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 5.00pm)

Saturday (8.30am - 12.30pm)

Lunch (closed) (1.30pm - 2.00pm)

Kew

St Vincent's Pathology
St Georges’ Hospital
283 Cotham Road
Kew VIC 3101
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9231 8580

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 5.30pm)

Sat (8.00am - 12.30pm)

Malvern

Cabrini Health
Cabrini Hospital, Ground Floor Area F
183 Wattletree Road
Malvern VIC 3144
Australia

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 6.00pm)

Sat (8.00am - 12.00pm)

Maribyrnong

Western Imaging for women
316/1 Thomas Holmes Street
Maribyrnong VIC 3032
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9111 0055

Please contact for collection details

Mitcham

Siles Health
1 William Street
Mitcham VIC 3132
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 8547 0740

Mon - Fri (9.00am - 5.00pm)

Monbulk

St Vincent's Pathology
1 Mt Pleasant Road
Monbulk VIC 3793
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9752 1580

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 4.30pm)

Sat (9.00am - 12.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (1.30pm - 2.00pm)

Moonee Ponds

St Vincent's Pathology
Moonee Ponds Medical Clinic
192 Pascoe Vale Road
Moonee Ponds VIC 3039
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9372 8381

Mon - Thu (9.00am - 2.00pm)

Fri (8.30am - 1.30pm)

Niddrie

St Vincent's Pathology
Suite 6, Level 1
326 Keilor Road
Niddrie VIC 3042
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9379 0268

Mon - Fri (9.00am - 5.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (12.30pm - 1.00pm)

North Melbourne

Siles Health
Level 2, Suite 218
55 Flemington Road
North Melbourne VIC 3051
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9328 4403

Mon, Tues (9.30am - 5.00pm)

Wed, Fri (8.30am - 5.00pm)

Thur (9.00am - 5.00pm)

Nunawading

St Vincent's Pathology
Mitcham Road Consulting Suites
188 Mitcham Road
Nunawading VIC 3131
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9874 0275

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 4.30pm)

Lunch (closed) (12.00pm - 12.30pm)

Parkville

Royal Women's Hospital
Private Consulting Suites, 2nd Floor, Suite 6,
20 Flemington Road
Parkville VIC 3052
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 8345 2206

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 4.30pm)

Pascoe Vale

St Vincent's Pathology
94 Kent Road
Pascoe Vale VIC 3044
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9350 7309

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 4.30pm)

Sat (8.00am – 11.00am)

Ringwood

Siles Health
12 Davey Drive
Ringwood VIC 3134
Australia

Mon - Fri (9.00am - 5.00pm)

Sat (8.30am - 12.30pm)

Roxburgh Park

St Vincent's Pathology
Roxburgh Park Specialist Centre
1 Manley Avenue
Roxburgh Park VIC 3064
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9308 9722

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 4.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (1.00pm - 1.30pm)

Sat (9.00am - 12.00pm)

Selby

St Vincent's Pathology
Selby Family Medical Centre
113 Belgrave-Gembrook Road
Selby VIC 3159
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9752 6615

Mon - Fri (8.30am - 5.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (12.30pm - 1.30pm)

Sat (8.30am - 12.30pm)

Shepparton

Goulburn Valley Health
121-135 Corio Street
Shepparton VIC 3632
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 5832 2322

Mon - Thu (7.45am - 4.45pm)

Sat (9.00am - 11.30am)

Shepparton

Goulburn Valley Health
Graham Street
Shepparton VIC 3632
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 5832 2322

Mon - Thu (8.00am - 5.30pm)

Sunbury

St Vincent's Pathology
Specialist Suites
57 Ligar Street
Sunbury VIC 3429
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 9740 2266

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 3.00pm)

Lunch (closed) (12.00pm - 12.30pm)

Sat (9.00am - 12.00pm)

Sydenham

St Vincent's Pathology
574 Melton Highway
Sydenham VIC 3037
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 8390 8901

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 5.00pm)

Sat (8.30am - 12.00pm)

Werribee

St Vincent's Pathology
289 Princess Highway
Werribee VIC 3030
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 8742 3801

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 4.30pm)

Lunch (closed) (1.00pm - 1.30pm)

Sat (9.00am - 12.00pm)

Tasmania

Hobart

Pathology South
Wellington Clinics
Level 2, 42 Argyle Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 6166 0150

Mon - Wed (9.00am - 5.00pm)

Launceston

Launceston General Hospital
Level 2, Franklin Street
Launceston TAS 7250
Australia
Phone: 
(03) 6348 7690

Mon - Wed (8.00am - 5.30pm)

Queensland

Alexandra Hills

Mater Pathology
71 Cambridge drive
Aleaxandra Hills QLD 4161
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3820 2618

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 5pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (7.30am - 11.30pm)

Beenleigh

Mater Pathology
10/145 George Street
Beenleigh QLD 4207
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3807 8827

Mon - Fri (7.30am - 5.30pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (7.30am - 11.30am)

Brookwater

Mater Pathology
Mater Health Centre, Level 1/ 2 Tournament Drive,
Village Shopping Centre
Brookwater QLD 4300
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3199 3250

Mon - Fri (7am - 3pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1pm)

Sat (9.00am - 1pm)

Bulimba

Mater Pathology
Suite 1A, Level 1
200 Oxford Street
Bulimba QLD 4171
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3902 0695

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 2.00pm)

Chermside

Mater Pathology
Ground Floor, Northside Private Hosp
627 Rode Road
Chermside QLD 4032
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3326 3400

Mon - Sun (7.00am - 8.30pm)

Cleveland

Mater Pathology
Mater Health Centre Redland
16 Weippin Street
Cleveland QLD 4163
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3163 7350

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 5.00pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (7.30am - 11.30am)

Coorparoo

Mater Pathology
Courner Old Cleveland Road and
French Street
Coorparoo QLD 4151
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3397 5494

Mon - Fri (7.00a, - 5.00pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (7.30am - 11.30am)

Hope Island

Mater Pathology
8 Halcyon Way
(off Broadwater Avenue)
Hope Island QLD 4212
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 5635 4050

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 5.00pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (9.00a, - 1.00pm)

Inala

Mater Pathology
119 Biota Street
Inala QLD 4077
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3372 5770

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 3.00pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (7.30am - 11.30am)

Ipswich

Mater Pathology
14 Brisbane Street
Ipswich QLD 4305
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3812 3937

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 3.00pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (7.30am - 11.30am)

Karana Downs

Mater Pathology
1 Langi Court
Karana Downs QLD 4306
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3201 2549

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 3.00pm)
Closed (11.20am - 12.00pm)

Sat (7.30am - 11.30pm)

Kedron

Mater Pathology
232 Gympie Road
Kedron QLD 4031
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3357 6517

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 4.00pm)
Closed (1.00pm - 1.40pm)

Sat (8.00am - 12.00pm)

Kenmore

Mater Pathology
The Courtyard Family Medical Centre
2060 Mogill Road
Kenmore QLD 4069
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3378 9784

Mon - Fri (7.30am - 5.30pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (9am - 1pm)

Keperra

Mater Pathology
Great Western Super Centre
Cnr Samford & Settlement Roads
Keperra QLD 4054
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 07 3351 8563

Mon - Fri (7.30am - 5.30pm)
Closed (12.50pm - 1.30pm)

Sat (7.30am - 12.00pm)

Logan City

Mater Pathology
Shop 42, Logan Central Plaza
38-74 Wembley Road
Logan City QLD 4114
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3299 4343

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 5.00pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (7.30am - 11.30am)

Macleay Island

Mater Pathology
Blue Care Redland Community Care
32-40 High Central Road
Macleay Island QLD 4184
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3409 4318

Mon & Fri (7.30am - 11.30am)

Tues & Thurs (7.30am - 2.00pm)
Closed (11.20am - 12.00pm)

Wed 9.00am - 12.00pm)

Oxley

Mater Pathology
Bywater Medical Centre
169 Seventeen Mile Rocks Road
Oxley QLD 4075
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3375 4806

Mon - Fri (7.00am -3.00pm)

Sat (8.00am - 11.00am)

Russell Island

Mater Pathology
Alison Crescent
Russell Island QLD 4184
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3409 2946

Mon, Wed & Fri (7.30am - 2.00pm)
Closed (11.20am - 12.00pm)

Tues & Thurs (7.30am - 11.30am)

South Brisbane

Mater Pathology
Level 4, Raymond Terrace
Mater Hospital
South Brisbane QLD 4101
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3163 8732

Mon - Fri (7am - 5pm)

South Brisbane

Mater Pathology
Level 6, Mater Private Hospital
301 Vulture Street
South Brisbane QLD 4101
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3163 7625

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 5.00pm)

Springfield

Mater Pathology
Shop 1.6A Orion Shopping Centre
Cnr Centenary Hwy & Springfield Greenbank Road
Springfield QLD 4300
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3470 1055

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 5.00pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (7.00am - 11.00pm)

Springwood

Mater Pathology
Shop 2/3 Murrajong Road
Springwood QLD 4127
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3299 2502

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 4.30pm)
Closed (12.00pm - 1.00pm)

Sat (8.00am - 12.00pm)

Sunnybank Hills

Mater Pathology
Cnr Calam and Compton Roads
Sunnybank Hills QLD 4109
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3272 8347

Mon - Fri (8.00am - 5.30pm)
Closed (1.20pm - 2,00pm)

Sat (8.00am - 12.00pm)

Windsor

Mater Pathology
Shop 4, 178 Albion Road
Windsor QLD 4030
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3357 5857

Mon - Fri (7.30am - 3.30pm)
Closed (12.20pm - 1.00pm)

Yamanto

Mater Pathology
Yamanto Village Shopping Centre
Warwick Road
Yamanto QLD 4305
Australia
Phone: 
(07) 3294 1735

Mon - Fri (7.00am - 5.00pm)
Closed (12.20pm- 1.00pm)

Sat 7.30am - 11.30am)

New Zealand

Auckland

Insight + Ascot Radiology
Ascot Central, Level 1
7 Ellerslie Racecourse Drive
Remuera 1050
New Zealand
Phone: 
(09) 520 9550

Please contact for collection details.

Auckland

LabPlus
Auckland City Hospital
Level 6, Building 1
Auckland 0324
New Zealand

Mon – Wed (7.30am – 4.30pm)

Auckland

LabPlus
Greenlane Clinical Care
Ground Floor Building 4
Auckland 0624
New Zealand

Mon – Wed (7.30am – 5.00pm)

Wellington

Wellington Region Genetics Laboratory
Wellington Region Genetics Laboratory
Wellington Hospital
Wellington 6011
New Zealand
Phone: 
(04) 918 5352

Mon – Fri (Please contact for collection details)

Frequently asked questions

How does NIPT work?

As a baby grows, the placenta releases small fragments of DNA known as ‘cell-free fetal DNA’ (cfDNA) into the maternal bloodstream. Maternal cell-free DNA is also present in the bloodstream. An advanced technology called ‘massively parallel sequencing’ is able to read the genetic information from both the fetal and maternal DNA.

This genetic information can then be traced to the chromosome it came from. If the pregnancy is affected by a chromosome condition, there will be an increase or decrease in the number of DNA sequence reads for that particular chromosome. For example, if the baby has Down syndrome, (an extra copy of chromosome 21), there will be an increase in the number of sequence reads from chromosome 21.

How does percept™ differ from other NIPT services?

There are a number of NIPT tests available on the market. They differ in price, conditions that are tested for, pre- and post-test services and some technical aspects such as test failure rate.

VCGS is a specialist genetics service with over 30 years experience in prenatal genetics. We are experts in the genetics of pregnancy and our interpretation of the NIPT results is alongside other tests performed during pregnancy, like maternal serum screening and ultrasound. percept™ is also fully supported by a team of clinical geneticists, genetic counsellors and clinical scientists, who together provide the most comprehensive NIPT interpretation and follow up support service available.

percept™ generates more sequence reads to produce a result, which increases the accuracy of the test. This also means our test failure rate is significantly reduced (approximately 0.2% of samples) compared to some other providers (up to 5%).

What’s the difference between maternal serum screening and non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT)? Do I need both?

Having both maternal serum screening (combined first trimester screening) and percept™ provides the best assessment of the health of the pregnancy because each test provides slightly different information.

NIPT is an advanced screening test (more accurate), but it is also more expensive and is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance. Maternal serum screening is a very good screening test which is less expensive and partially covered by Medicare.

Both tests determine the chance that a baby has Down syndrome or Edwards syndrome. NIPT can also provide information about Patau syndrome and sex chromosome conditions. Maternal serum screening provides additional detail about the chance of pre-eclampsia (a serious condition during pregnancy) or the baby having a neural tube defect like spina bifida (second trimester screening only).

Some women choose to have maternal serum screening as their first test and then follow up with NIPT only if they receive a ‘screen positive’ result. Others choose to have both maternal serum screening and NIPT in combination or in some cases, they choose to only have NIPT. If NIPT has been used as the first test, we generally do not recommend having maternal serum screening as well. We also recommend all women have a 12 week ultrasound scan as this provides information about the structural development of the baby.

How accurate is percept™?

percept™ is an advanced screening test that is more accurate than maternal serum screening for Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome.

The detection rate (which describes how good the test is at identifying a particular condition) for Down syndrome using percept™ is >99%. This means that if the pregnancy is affected by Down syndrome, it will almost certainly be detected.

While percept™ is an accurate test, it is not diagnostic. Diagnostic testing is the only way to confirm if a condition is present or to reassure that a pregnancy is not affected.

Conditions screened Detection Rate
Down syndrome (trisomy 21) >99%
Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) >98%
Patau syndrome (trisomy 13) >98%
Fetal sex Accuracy
Male XY, Female XX >99%

How much does percept™ cost?

percept™ costs $449 (for Australian patients). Currently, there is no Medicare rebate or private health coverage for any NIPT test.

For New Zealand patients, percept™ is AUD$509.

How will I get my results?

percept™ results are available within 3-5 working days (from the time the sample is received in the laboratory). Results are reported to the referring doctor or genetic counsellor.

What do my results mean?

percept™ screening results are reported as:

Low risk
Most results will be low risk. This means it is very unlikely the pregnancy is affected by one of the specific conditions screened for. There is always the chance that the result is a ‘false negative’, but this is very rare (1 in 10,000 tests). Low risk does not mean ‘no risk’. Other conditions not identified by NIPT may be present.

High risk
A high risk result does not mean the pregnancy is definitely affected by a particular condition. It means there is an increased chance. There is always a possibility that the screening result was a ‘false positive’ so in order to confirm the result or to reassure the pregnancy is not affected, diagnostic testing will be offered.

No result
percept™ test failure rates are very low (<0.2%). If no result is given, the laboratory will request a repeat sample for testing at no additional charge to the patient.

What happens if I receive a high risk percept™ result?

Receiving a high risk result does not mean your pregnancy is definitely affected by a particular condition; it means there is an increased chance. In this case, a VCGS genetic counsellor will contact your referring doctor to discuss further testing options, such as diagnostic testing (using a CVS or amniocentesis).

Remember, screening tests do not provide a definitive (yes or no) answer. Diagnostic testing is the only way to confirm the presence of a condition or to reassure a pregnancy is not affected.

Can percept™ be used for twin/IVF/donor pregnancies?

Yes.

In the case of a twin pregnancy, percept™ can give information about the chance of Down syndrome, Edward syndrome and Patau syndrome. Information about about sex chromosome conditions or the sex of the babies is not available for twin pregnancies. Please contact VCGS for higher order pregnancies e.g triplets.

I wish to speak to a scientist or counsellor about percept™.

If you have more questions about your screening options or are not sure whether percept™ is right for you, please contact one of our genetic counsellors: (03) 9936 6402.

How do I pay?

Payment is made by providing credit card details at the time of completing the request slip. The fee is charged to the patient’s credit card prior to the result being released. If the test fails and the patient does not want to proceed with a repeat test, the full fee is reimbursed. If a repeat sample is taken, only the single test fee is charged.