Clinical Practice: April 2015 Practice Advisories
In the past month, the College has released two Practice Advisories to Fellows and the media. Practice Advisories are a relatively new source of ACOG clinical guidance that are issued ideally within 24-48 hours of the release of new emergent information on a clinical issue (e.g. clinical study, draft regulation) that is anticipated to generate a multitude of inquiries among Fellows and/or their patients.
ACOG Practice Advisory on Cell-Free DNA Screening, April 2, 2015
Based on a significant new study on cell-free DNA (cfDNA) screening, ACOG issued a Practice Advisory on a noninvasive prenatal screening method that uses the plasma of pregnant women. Although it has been seen as offering potential as a screening method for fetal aneuploidy, it had not yet been tested in low-risk pregnancies, as acknowledged in ACOG’s Committee Opinion 545 on Noninvasive Prenatal Testing for Fetal Aneuploidy. This new study examining its use in an unselected population, including a large group of "low risk" pregnancies, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine ("Cell-Free DNA Analysis for Noninvasive Examination of Trisomy,") April 1, 2015. To provide clinical guidance in response to the release of this new information, ACOG issued a Practice Advisory that can be found here. As ACOG reviews the Committee Opinion on cfDNA, we will take into account this study and others that have provided additional information about cfDNA screening in the general pregnant population.
ACOG Practice Advisory on Breast Cancer Screening, April 20, 2015
On April 20th, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force posted a draft recommendation statement regarding breast cancer screenings, which will replace the 2009 guidelines. In the new recommendations, the Task Force comes closer to ACOG’s recommendations for women ages 40-49. While ACOG recommends annual mammograms in this age group, the Task Force now acknowledges that it is an individual decision that should take into account a woman’s risk factors, as well as potential harms and benefits. For a close comparison of ACOG versus Task Force draft guidelines, see our Practice Advisory, which can be found here.
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