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Prenatal counseling and parental decision-making following a fetal diagnosis of trisomy 13 or 18



To evaluate parental decisions following a prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 13 (T13) or trisomy 18 (T18), prenatal counseling received, and pregnancy outcomes.

Study design

Single-center, retrospective cohort study of families with a prenatal diagnosis of T13 or T18 from 2000 to 2016.


Out of 152 pregnancies, 55% were terminated. Twenty percent chose induction with palliative care, 20% chose expectant management, 2% chose full interventions, and 3% were lost to follow-up. Counseling was based on initial parental goals, but most women were given options besides termination. Women who chose expectant management had a live birth in 50% of the cases. Women who chose neonatal interventions had a live birth in 100% of the cases, but there were no long-term survivors.


The majority of women who continue their pregnancy after a fetal diagnosis of T13 or T18 desire expectant management with palliative care. A live birth can be expected at least half of the time.

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Correspondence to Steven Leuthner.

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Winn, P., Acharya, K., Peterson, E. et al. Prenatal counseling and parental decision-making following a fetal diagnosis of trisomy 13 or 18. J Perinatol 38, 788–796 (2018).

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