Prenatal Diagnostic Center

The UCSF Prenatal Diagnostic 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 technologies 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.

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

Our Services

Diagnostic Tests:

Screening Tests:

Genetic Carrier Screening:

Some genetic disorders are more common in certain ethnic groups. Depending on your family history, ethnicity and heritage, your developing baby may be at risk for one of these genetic conditions:

  • Canavan diseaseThis 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. Lack of a certain enzyme results in destruction of the central nervous system over time. There is currently no effective treatment.
  • Sickle cell diseaseThis condition is most common in people of African American, African, Mediterranean, Hispanic and South American ancestry, with the carrier risk ranging from 1 in 10 to 1 in 40, depending on ethnicity. Sickle cell disease is caused by abnormal hemoglobin that changes the shape of red blood cells. People with the condition suffer from anemia, severe pain, a tendency to develop infections and other serious health problems. Frequent blood transfusions, infection-preventing antibiotics and bone marrow transplants are available treatments. UCSF doctors were the first to develop a prenatal test for sickle cell disease, also called sickle cell anemia.
  • Tay-Sachs diseasePeople of Ashkenazi Jewish and French Canadian ancestry have the greatest chance of being carriers of Tay-Sachs disease, about 1 in 30 versus 1 in 250 for the general population. The disease results from the abnormal buildup of certain substances in the brain, and it is fatal in early childhood. There is currently no effective treatment.

  • ThalassemiaIndividuals of Mediterranean, Southeast Asian and African ancestry have the greatest chance of being carriers for a group of blood disorders called thalassemia. In general, thalassemia affects a person's ability to produce hemoglobin, the protein in blood that transports oxygen. Children with severe cases may not survive. Others have anemia, bone growth problems and issues with the liver and spleen. Treatment may require blood transfusions. UCSF doctors were the first to develop a prenatal test for thalassemia.

People who carry genes for these disorders may not have symptoms. However, if both parents carry 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 determine whether you carry such a trait.

Our locations

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    Decorative Caduceus

    Chronic Hypertension and Pregnancy (CHAP) Project

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether a blood pressure treatment strategy during pregnancy to achieve targets that are recommended for non-pregnant reproductive-age adults (<140/90 mmHg) compared ACOG- rec...

    Recruiting

    Decorative Caduceus

    Clinical Utility of Prenatal Whole Exome Sequencing

    The investigator aims to examine the clinical utility of WES, including assessment of a variety of health-related and reproductive outcomes in undiagnosed prenatal cases.

    Recruiting

    Support services

    Class

    Great Expectations Pregnancy Classes

    Get ready for the baby! Choose from a variety of classes that prepare moms and partners for pregnancy, birth, baby care, breastfeeding and parenting.

    Patient Resource

    Lactation Consultant Support

    Get support for all your breastfeeding needs. Troubleshoot with a lactation consultant, find equipment and supplies, join a support group and more.

    Patient Resource

    Women's Health Resource Center

    Access a range of UCSF women's health resources, such as classes, support groups, a lending library and services focused on pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.

    International Services

    If you live in another country and are coming to UCSF for medical
    treatment, our patient liaisons can help coordinate all aspects of your visit.

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    Interpreters

    UCSF offers language services at no charge for patients with limited
    English, as well as for patients who are deaf or have trouble hearing.

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    Hospital Stays

    Checking into the hospital? Find helpful information by clicking on the relevant “Your Hospital Stay” booklet: Mission Bay, Parnassus or Mount
    Zion.

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    10 ways to get the most from your doctor visit

    Your Doctor Visit

    See our top 10 tips for making your UCSF doctor’s appointment as stress-free and productive as possible.

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    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your condition
    • List of your medications, including dosages, plus any you're allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

    Related clinics

    Prenatal Diagnostic Center at Monterey

    2 Upper Ragsdale Dr., Suite B100
    Monterey, CA 93940

    Prenatal Diagnostic Center at Greenbrae

    1300 S. Eliseo Dr., Suite 200
    Greenbrae, CA 94994

    Prenatal Diagnostic Center at Santa Rosa

    100 Brookwood Ave.
    Santa Rosa, CA 95404

    Obstetrics & Gynecology at Mission Bay – Owens Street

    1500 Owens St., Suite 380
    San Francisco, CA 94158

    Obstetrics & Gynecology at Mount Zion

    2356 Sutter St.
    San Francisco, CA 94143

    Obstetrics & Gynecology at Serramonte

    333 Gellert Blvd., Suite 120
    Daly City, CA 94015

    Obstetrics, Gynecology & Perinatal Specialties at Mission Bay – Fourth Street

    1825 Fourth St., Third Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94158

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    (888) 689-8273

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