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September 25, 2013

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

by Angel Pumila

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is used to diagnose genetic disorders.  “In PGD, a biopsy is performed on blastocysts resulting from in vitro fertilization” (Gross, 2008).  One cell is taken from each blastocyst to determine which is a carrier of a genetic mutation and which will grow to be a healthy embryo.  Then, the healthy blastocyst is transferred into the mother’s uterus for possible pregnancy.  While “most clinics performing PGD use the procedure for serious diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, Huntington’s disease, and sickle-cell anemia” (Gross, 2008; Basille et al., 2009; Cunniff & Committee of Genetics, 2004), others use this procedure for sex selection of the blastocyst.  Controversy surrounds PGD due to the ability to select the traits of the unborn child.  Still, this technological procedure is helpful in aiding parents who are looking to prevent genetic disorders from being passed to the next generation.

This procedure does come at a cost that makes it unavailable to the majority of the population.  As of October, 2012 at the Fertility Institute of New Orleans, the cost for PGD was approximately $6500.  That is added to the already expensive cost of in vitro fertilization.  Still for some, this expense is well worth the initial price tag when preventing deadly diseases in unborn children.

References

Basille, C., Frydan, R., Aly, A.E., Hesters, L., Fanchin, R., Tachdjian, G., et al. (2009). Preimplantation gentetic diagnosis: State of the art. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, 145, 9-13.

Cunniff, C., & Committee on Genetics. (2004). Pediatrics prenatal screening and diagnosis for pediatricians. Pediatrics, 114, 889-894.

Gross, D. (2008). Infancy: Development from birth to age 3. Boston, MA: Pearson Education. ISBN: 9780205417988.

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