FlashFISH™

About FlashFISH™

Amniocentesis results in 3 hours

FlashFISH™ is a revolutionary technology that enables patients to receive the results of their amniocentesis test within three hours. This is a huge breakthrough for pregnant mothers, in what is usually weeks of anxious waiting to find out whether their baby has Down syndrome.

The method is based on Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) technology. The regular FISH method uses karyotyping – the standard technique to detect the range of fetal abnormalities – and results typically take eight to 10 days in Singapore and eight to 21 days internationally.

Developed by Associate Professor Mahesh Choolani at the National University of Singapore (NUS), INEX has the exclusive license for FlashFISH™ technology. The test is currently offered at the National University Hospital, (NUH) Singapore.

How does FlashFISH™ work?

Chromosomes 13, 18, 21, X, and Y in each fetal cell are tagged with their respective fluorescent-labeled probes. These probes are synthetic DNA sequences that are chemically labeled with different types of fluorescent signals of different colors. This enables the analyst to visualise, differentiate and count the different chromosomes under a fluorescence-enabled microscope.

A normal cell will show two signals each of chromosomes 13, 18 and 21. In a male fetal cell, one signal each of chromosomes X and Y will be visible, while in female fetal cell, two signals of chromosome X will be visible. In a fetus with trisomy 21 i.e. Down syndrome, there will be 3 signals of chromosome 21 in a fetal cell.

flashfish-image

What can FlashFISH™ test for?

FlashFISH™ can test for fetal chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edward syndrome (Trisomy 18), Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13), Klinefelter syndrome (XXY) and Turner syndrome (X only).

What Does The Procedure Involve?

The procedure involves taking a sample of amniotic fluid for analysis.