Cordocentesis — also known as percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS) — is a diagnostic prenatal test in which a sample of the baby's blood is removed from the umbilical cord for testing.

Cordocentesis is usually done after week 18 of pregnancy. The test can be used to detect certain genetic disorders, blood conditions and infections. Cordocentesis can also be used to deliver blood transfusions or medication to a baby through the umbilical cord.

Use of cordocentesis is decreasing. This is because diagnostic procedures such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, which pose a lower risk of fetal loss, can be used in place of cordocentesis for prenatal diagnosis of disease. However, cordocentesis might be offered if other prenatal tests don't provide enough or sufficiently timely diagnostic information.

Oct. 08, 2015