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CornerStone Vol. 22, No. 2, Summer 2012
Front page...

A Legacy Lives on to Help Others
NYU Winthrop Names Three New Members to Board of Directors
NYU Winthrop Offers Heart Valve Replacement with No Open Surgery
NYU Winthrop: The First Hospital on Long Island to Offer Expectant Parents New Blood Test
NYU Winthrop’s Orthopaedic Surgeons: Helping Patients Live their Fullest Life
NYU Winthrop Designated a NAEC Level 4 Epilepsy Center
NYU Winthrop Named Health Care's Most Wired Winner 2012
NYU Winthrop’s Neuroscience Special Care Unit Celebrates Milestone Anniversary
Ask the Doctor: Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Additional videos
The World’s Smallest Microscope is at NYU Winthrop
27th Annual Golf Tournament Raises $512,000 for NYU Winthrop’s Research Institute
A Cause to Celebrate... Child Life
An Evening of Reflection
Sixth Annual Black & White Ball Raises Nearly $275,000 for NYU Winthrop’s Cancer Center for Kids
NYU Winthrop’s “Top Doctors”
Astoria Federal Savings Shows Support for NYU Winthrop’s Child Life Program
A Life-Long Dream Fulfilled
Friends of NYU Winthrop Donate Special Goodies to Pediatric Patients
Once Again, The Children’s Medical Center at NYU Winthrop Earns High Rankings
Golfing ‘Fore’ the Kids
Passion & Purpose: The Foundation for NYU Winthrop’s Annual Swim-a-thon
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s 2012 “Welcome Back Warriors”

NYU Winthrop: The First Hospital on Long Island to Offer Expectant Parents New Blood Test

In the midst of a joyous time, expectant parents can become overwhelmed by the wealth of tests that are available to assess the health of their unborn child.

Recently, NYU Winthrop Hospital became the first hospital on Long Island to offer women with highrisk pregnancies a minimally invasive blood test to screen for the likelihood of fetal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. This new blood test’s accuracy is so high that it may drastically reduce the need for more invasive screening procedures such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis.

“Until recently, the only methods for screening fetuses of high-risk pregnant women for Down Syndrome were through the use of maternal analyte tests – a test that examines the mother’s blood for substances made by the baby and the placenta – and ultrasounds, which have approximately 15 percent false positive rates. Confirmatory diagnostic tests like CVS and genetic amniocentesis are more risky and invasive procedures,” said Anthony Vintzileos, MD, Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Winthrop. “This new blood test can screen patients for fetal Down Syndrome with virtually no risk and extremely high accuracy.”

The MaterniT21 plus test, and other blood tests like it, looks at fragments of free DNA from the baby that are present in the mother’s blood. The presence of extra DNA in the mother’s blood indicates Down Syndrome. The test is over 99 percent accurate and is available to pregnant women who are over the age of 35, have a personal or family history of Down Syndrome, as well as to those who experience abnormal ultrasound or maternal serum screening results. The blood test can be administered anytime from the 10th week of pregnancy onward.

“In many instances, patients can avoid having more invasive amniocenteses due to the blood tests’ extremely low false positive rate,” said Martin Chavez, MD, Chief of NYU Winthrop’s Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Director of the Fetal Surgery Program.

Recently, 38-year-old Merrick resident Leticia Schmidt, a patient of NYU Winthrop obstetrician Gary Levine, MD, opted to have the MarterniT21 blood test under Dr. Chavez’s supervision. Leticia, who is pregnant with her third child, had an amniocentesis during her second pregnancy and the experience left her wary about undergoing another one.

“As a mother, it was very scary to see a needle inside of my uterus and almost touching my baby,” recalls Mrs. Schmidt.

So, when Leticia and her husband, Eduardo, learned that a simple new blood test could provide highly accurate screening for fetal abnormalities, the couple was eager to explore the option. Leticia was the first patient at NYU Winthrop to have the test, which became available in April.

“It was so easy to do and was very comforting for us,” said Mrs. Schmidt.

For more information about advanced obstetrical and gynecological services at NYU Winthrop, call 1-866-WINTHROP.

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NYU Winthrop Earns AIUM Accreditation

The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) has granted NYU Winthrop Hospital ’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Team accreditation for fetal echocardiograms. Throughout the country, less than 25 sites have been awarded this certification. In fact, NYU Winthrop is the only site in the tri-state area to hold such accreditation.

winthrop maternal fetal medicine team Members of NYU Winthrop’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Team.

“NYU Winthrop- University Hospital is proud to be one of the select sites in the country to offer the highest standard of care for patients with complicated pregnancies,” said Anthony Vintzileos, MD, Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Winthrop.

Fetal echocardio graphy uses ultrasound to examine the structure of a fetus’ heart and offers greater detail than a routine obstetric ultrasound. Women identified as being at high-risk for delivering a baby with congenital cardiac defects are often referred for fetal echocardiography during pregnancy for screening as well as diagnosis of these defects. This enables the patient’s obstetrician and NYU Winthrop’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Team to make decisions on how to best manage the pregnancy through a multidisciplinary approach that involves collaboration among physicians from other NYU Winthrop specialties such as pediatric cardiology, neonatology and genetics.

Ultrasound practice accreditation is a voluntary peer-review process that measures practices against nationally accepted protocols in training, practice, and safety. Sites that achieve accreditation show that they have met or exceed these standards.