Pediatricians may be called upon to counsel a family in which prenatal diagnosis is being considered or in which there is a fetus with a genetic disorder. In some settings, the pediatrician may be the primary resource for counseling the family. More frequently, counseling may already have been provided by a clinical geneticist and/or obstetrician. However, because of a previous relationship with the family, the pediatrician may be called upon to review this information and to assist the family in the decision-making process. The pediatrician should be familiar with the principles of prenatal genetic diagnosis and know how to apply them to specific problems in genetic counseling, diagnosis, and management in clinical practice. At the same time, pediatricians should be familiar with resources available in their region for obtaining information about whether and how a specific disorder can be diagnosed and when and where to refer patients for prenatal genetic diagnosis. The technology of prenatal diagnosis is changing rapidly, and genetic consultants can assist pediatricians in the appropriate utilization and interpretation of the diagnostic tests that are available.
- Copyright © 1994 by the American Academy of Pediatrics