CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release:Nov. 26, 2002
UI Health Care provides genetic screening for couples
Infertility treatment specialists with the University of Iowa Department
of Obstetrics and Gynecology today announced the first couple at UI Hospitals
and Clinics to receive genetic screening of their embryos is expecting a baby.
The procedure is called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). The technique
was introduced in the early 1990s, and an estimated 1,000 babies around the
world have been born following PGD.
The method appealed to Nami and Corey Stone of Coralville. Each of them
lost a sibling due to a genetic disorder called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA),
which affects cells in the spinal cord and can interfere with the muscles
involved with walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. As carriers
of the defective gene that causes SMA, they faced a one in four risk of giving
birth to a child who would be affected by the disorder.
The Stones were also experiencing difficulty conceiving a child. They consulted
Brad Van Voorhis, M.D., Craig Syrop, M.D., and Amy Sparks, Ph.D., in the Division
of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at UI Hospitals and Clinics.
The couple elected to receive in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. The
IVF technique combines sperm and eggs to create embryos.
The couple's embryos were then biopsied, and the samples were shipped to
a lab at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich. for genetic testing. Specialists
determined which embryos were affected by the SMA mutation. Two unaffected
embryos were transferred into Nami Stone in July 2002. One successfully implanted,
and the couple is expecting their first child in April 2003. They now face
a much lower risk that their baby will develop SMA.
A handful of U.S. infertility treatment centers offer PGD, and about 50
worldwide perform the technique. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and the
embryo biopsy add about $6,000 to the cost of in vitro fertilization, which
can cost between $6,000 and $12,000. PGD and embryo biopsies are not usually
covered by insurance.
For more information about pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and infertility
treatment, call the UI Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at (319) 356-8483
or visit them online at www.uihealthcare.com.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between
the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and
Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and
services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.