Prenatal Testing Services

As you prepare for parenthood or decide whether it’s right for you, you have a lot to consider. Our prenatal testing services provide the information and reassurance you need to decide what’s best for you. We offer a full range of prenatal screening tests based on your health and wishes.

Our Approach to Prenatal Testing

If you or your OB-GYN decide that prenatal testing is right for you, it's important to have an expert team you can trust. At the Cedars-Sinai Prenatal Diagnosis Center, we offer:

  • National expertise: Our center is one of the nation's largest and most experienced providers of prenatal testing and diagnosis.
  • Experienced high-risk pregnancy specialists: Our doctors are maternal-fetal medicine specialists. Maternal-fetal medicine doctors have advanced training to accurately diagnose and take care of women who are experiencing a high-risk, or complicated, pregnancy.
  • Leading diagnosis: Our center offers all of your prenatal testing needs under one roof and is one of the most experienced in the United States for chorionic villus sampling. We have performed tens of thousands of these procedures.
  • Team approach: We partner with other Cedars-Sinai doctors and other healthcare professionals to deliver care that takes into account all of your health needs. These doctors include pediatric cardiologists from our Pediatric Cardiothoracic Program. Pediatric cardiologists care for babies and their hearts.

Our Prenatal Testing and Screening

Our goal is to help you make informed decisions about the seemingly endless choices you have. Our prenatal testing detects health conditions that may affect you and your unborn baby. With this knowledge, you can begin treatment as soon as possible. Earlier treatment can increase your chances for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Our services include:

Genetic counseling

Genetic counseling gives you information about your risk of passing down genetic conditions or birth defects to your child. This may be the first step you take before prenatal testing.

Serum integrated screening

In serum integrated screening, we draw the mother’s blood to look for birth defects, such as Down syndrome and spina bifida. The screening involves two blood tests that take place during different stages of pregnancy:

  • First trimester: 10 to 13 weeks of pregnancy
  • Second trimester: 15 to 20 weeks of pregnancy
Noninvasive prenatal screening

Noninvasive prenatal screening involves drawing the mother’s blood to understand the risk for birth defects, such as Down syndrome. This screening is not used to diagnose birth defects.

If these test results show there is a chance your baby has a genetic condition, then you and your doctor may decide to proceed with additional testing. These tests include chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis.

AFP testing

In AFP testing, we draw the mother's blood to look for birth defects, such as spina bifida. High levels of AFP (alpha-fetoprotein) often mean the unborn baby has a birth defect. AFP testing can also be used to screen for some common chromosomal abnormalities.

All unborn babies produce alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). AFP then appears in the mother’s blood. Higher-than-normal levels for the mother's stage of pregnancy show that the baby may have an issue.

Pregnancy ultrasound

Pregnancy ultrasound, or a sonogram, gives you and your doctor pictures of your unborn baby. It is a routine prenatal test that serves many purposes, such as confirming pregnancy and checking your baby's growth and development.

Types of pregnancy ultrasound include:

  • Nuchal translucency test (first trimester ultrasound)
  • Fetal anatomy survey (level 2 ultrasound, 20-week ultrasound, 2-week anatomy scan)
  • Growth ultrasound (growth scan)
  • Doppler assessment (fetal Doppler)
Chorionic villus sampling

In chorionic villus sampling, we remove a small amount of tissue from the placenta, called chorionic villi. The placenta delivers oxygen and nutrients to the unborn baby and removes waste from the baby’s blood. Chorionic villus testing can detect genetic diseases.


Amniocentesis tests for genetic conditions and infections. Under ultrasound guidance, we remove a small amount of amniotic fluid from the womb for testing. Amniotic fluid surrounds the baby and contains cells and proteins.

Fetal echocardiography

Fetal echocardiography is a type of pregnancy ultrasound that looks at the structure and function of your unborn baby's heart. Not all expectant mothers need a fetal echocardiogram.

Antenatal testing

Antenatal (before birth) testing uses ultrasound and fetal heart rate monitoring for surveillance of fetal well-being in the setting of pregnancy complications. Common pregnancy complications include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Poor growth of the baby
  • Too much or too little amniotic fluid
Make an Appointment or Refer a Patient
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To refer a patient, fax medical records to 310-423-9939.