Cordocentesis is used primarily to detect and treat blood conditions, such as fetal anemia — a low amount of healthy red blood cells in a developing baby.

Cordocentesis is usually done when a diagnosis can't be obtained from amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, ultrasound or other methods. Because cordocentesis carries a higher risk of fetal loss than these other methods your health care provider will only offer the procedure if other options are not available or they won't produce timely results.

In rare situations, cordocentesis might be used to check the shape and number of fetal chromosomes (karyotype analysis). Fetal blood karyotyping can be done within 48 hours, possibly providing results quicker than amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.

Oct. 08, 2015