What Is The Harmony Test?

The Harmony Test is a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) that analyses cell-free fetal DNA circulating in the pregnant mother’s blood. It is a new option in prenatal screening for Down syndrome (trisomy 21) and other common fetal chromosome conditions such as Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) and Patau syndrome (trisomy 13).

This test can be done in naturally-conceived as well as IVF pregnancies and in both singleton and twin pregnancies



What Abnormalities Does The Harmony Test Detect?

Down Syndrome (trisomy 21)

This is the most common trisomy at the time of birth. It is associated with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities and may also lead to digestive disease and congenital heart disease and other malformations.

Edwards Syndrome (trisomy 18) and Patau Syndrome (trisomy 13)

These are associated with a high rate of miscarriage. These babies are born with severe brain abnormalities and often have congenital heart defects as well as other defects. Most affected individuals die before or soon after birth and very few survive beyond the first year of life.

Fetal Sex Chromosome Abnormalities

The Harmony Prenatal Test can also be used to evaluate X and Y sex chromosomes as early as 10 weeks. You have the option to test for conditions caused by having an extra or missing copy of the X or Y chromosomes, including Turner and Klinefelter syndromes (PLEASE NOTE: This is only available for singleton pregnancies)

PLEASE NOTE: The Harmony test does not assess the risk for mosaicism, partial trisomies or translocations


Who Is This Test For?

The test is suitable for any pregnant woman who has had an ultrasound scan to confirm that their pregnancy is a singleton pregnancy, that the fetus is alive, and that the pregnancy is equivalent to a gestation of 10 weeks or more


Who Carries Out The Test?

Dr Penman will preform all the scans, complete the necessary paperwork and personally take your blood sample.

The sample along with your personal information (including name, date of birth, gestational age) is sent to a laboratory based in London where the Harmony Prenatal Test is completed.


What Are The Risks Of This Test?

The Harmony Test is a non-invasive prenatal testing which simply involves taking a blood sample from the mother.

There is NO RISK to the pregnancy, unlike invasive testing procedures such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS).


How Does The Harmony Test Work?

To obtain a result from the Harmony Test, there needs to be enough fetal DNA in the maternal blood.

The amount of fetal DNA in the maternal blood increases as pregnancy progresses. The likelihood of there being insufficient fetal DNA in the sample is greater the earlier the sample is taken.

There is also a lower level of fetal DNA in overweight women and so the risk of there being insufficient fetal DNA in the sample is also increased in these cases.

If there is insufficient fetal DNA in the sample (occurring in 3-5% of cases), another blood sample from the mother may be required. This will be processed in the laboratory at no extra charge.


How Accurate Is The Harmony Test?

The Harmony Test has exceptional accuracy for detecting fetal trisomies.

The test identifies:

  • more than 99% of fetuses with Down syndrome (trisomy 21) – conventional screening will only detect approximately 70-80% of fetuses with Down syndrome
  • 97% of fetuses with Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18)
  • 80% of fetuses with Patau syndrome (trisomy 13)

After the test, the number of women required to have a CVS or amniocentesis is less than 1%


When Will I Get The Results?

The Harmony Prenatal Test results will be ready in approximately 7-10 days. Dr Penman will call or email you (whichever you prefer) with the results


What Do The Results Mean?

High Risk Results

If the Harmony test shows a high risk result this does not mean that your baby definitely has a trisomy . However, Dr Penman will arrange to see you in his clinic to discuss the result fully with you. A diagnostic test such as CVS or amniocentesis may be recommended

Low Risk Results

A low risk result is a risk of less than 1:10,000. A low risk results means that it is highly unlikely that your baby has a trisomy


More Information

For more information regarding fees for the Harmony Prenatal Test, please click here.




Book A Harmony Test

If you would like to book a Harmony Prenatal Test please click the button below, and fill in the booking form.