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Prenatal Diagnostic Center
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The Prenatal Diagnostic Center at UCSF Medical Center provides comprehensive counseling, screening and diagnostic testing for fetal disorders. The decision to make use of these services is unique for each woman and her partner. Therefore, we are committed to providing the information and support patients need to make the choices that are right for them.

The Prenatal Diagnostic Center is part of UCSF Women's Health — a nationally designated Center of Excellence in Women's Health — and patients are ensured the highest quality care and service. They benefit from the most advanced technology and procedures. Our practitioners bring a wealth of experience and expertise, having performed more than 40,000 amniocentesis and 17,000 chorionic villus sampling procedures over the last 35 years.

  • Hear an interview with Ellen Simpson, a genetic counselor at the UCSF Prenatal Diagnostic Center, about genetic carrier screening. Genetic screening can determine if parents-to-be have genetic mutations that could cause a serious inherited condition in their baby.

In addition to providing the most advanced testing available today, the Prenatal Diagnostic Center is working to develop new and less invasive methods for the screening and diagnosis of genetic and chromosomal disorders. Research studies are available for women interested in participating.

The center has three satellite clinics in Northern California, in addition to our main San Francisco office.

Please call the number below to make an appointment.

Getting Here

Prenatal Diagnostic Center
Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building
1825 Fourth St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-4080
Fax: (415) 353-4077

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Additional Locations
Greenbrae, CA
Monterey, CA
Santa Rosa, CA

What to Bring

    • Two forms of identification, including one photo ID
    • Insurance card
    • List of current medications

Access Your Health Information Online

This clinic uses UCSF MyChart, an online patient service. Message your provider, request medication refills, view some test results and more.

Learn more about UCSF MyChart

Our Services

Diagnostic Tests:

Screening Tests:

Genetic Carrier Screening:

Depending on your family history, ethnicity and heritage, your developing baby may be at risk for one of these other genetic conditions:

  • Canavan Disease — This condition is most common in people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, with a carrier incidence of 1 in 40. Canavan disease is a central nervous system disease that is usually fatal in childhood, with a few people surviving to adulthood. This disease is the result of a substance that destroys the central nervous system over time. There is presently no effective treatment for Canavan disease.
  • Sickle Cell Disease — This condition is most common in persons of African-American, African, Mediterranean, Hispanic and South American ancestry, with the carrier risk ranging from 1/10 to 1/40, depending on your ethnic background. Sickle cell disease is caused by a variant hemoglobin that changes the shape of the red blood cells. This causes anemia, severe pain, a tendency toward infection and other serious health problems. Frequent blood transfusions, infection-preventing antibiotics and bone marrow transplant are available treatments. UCSF doctors were the first to develop a prenatal test for sickle cell anemia.

  • Tay Sachs Disease — People of both Ashkenazi Jewish and French Canadian ancestry have the greatest chance of being carriers of Tay Sachs disease, about 1/30 versus 1/250 in the general population. The disease results from a build up of certain substances in the brain, and is fatal in early childhood. There is presently no effective treatment for Tay Sachs disease.

  • Thalassemia — Individuals of Mediterranean, Southeast Asian and African ancestry have the greatest chance — 1 in 3 and 1 in 30, respectively — of being carriers for thalassemia. In general, this group of blood disorders affects a person's ability to produce hemoglobins, the protein in our blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. In severe cases, children with thalassemia may not survive. Others have anemia, bone growth problems and liver and spleen involvement. Blood transfusions may be needed for treatment. UCSF doctors were the first to develop a prenatal test for thalassemia.

Some genetic disorders are more common in certain ethnic groups. People who carry genes for these disorders may not have symptoms. However, if both parents are carriers of the same abnormal gene, the chance of having an affected child is 1 in 4, or 25 percent, for each pregnancy. A special blood test, called a carrier test, may be able to tell if you carry such a trait.

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Parking at Mission Bay

Public parking options at UCSF's Mission Bay campus include:

Weekdays: $3.75/hour
Daily Maximum: $30/day

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Public Transportation

UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay is accessible via the following Muni bus routes:

  • 22
  • 55
  • T-Third Street line

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(415) 673-6864 (MUNI)
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Free UCSF shuttles connect the Mission Bay campus with our Mount Zion and Parnassus campuses as well as other UCSF locations and the 16th Street BART station.

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Shuttle hotline: (415) 476-4646 (GOGO)

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Clinics & Centers

Condition Information

Clinic Team

Shilpa Chetty
Dr. Shilpa Chetty,
perinatologist
Kathryn Drexler
Kathryn Drexler,
genetic counselor
Rachel Farrell
Rachel Farrell,
genetic counselor
Juan Gonzalez-Velez
Dr. Juan Gonzalez-Velez,
perinatologist
Lena Kim
Dr. Lena Kim,
perinatologist
Kati Malabed
Kati Malabed,
genetic counselor
Sherri Pena
Sherri Pena,
genetic counselor
Hazel Perry
Hazel Perry,
genetic counselor
Larry Rand
Dr. Larry Rand,
perinatologist
Melissa Rosenstein
Dr. Melissa Rosenstein,
perinatologist
Sarah Russell
Sarah Russell,
genetic counselor
Kirsten Salmeen
Dr. Kirsten Salmeen,
perinatologist
Allyson Scott
Allyson Scott,
genetic counselor
Ellen Simpson
Ellen Simpson,
genetic counselor
Mari-Paule Thiet
Dr. Mari-Paule Thiet,
perinatologist
Juan Vargas
Dr. Juan Vargas,
obstetrician
Marya Zlatnik
Dr. Marya Zlatnik,
perinatologist