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Harmony prenatal test - anyone know about it

(831 Posts)
RTchoke Mon 29-Oct-12 05:41:25

today I am having a new kind of prenatal test called Harmony. It's non-invasive and seems to just be a new kind of blood test plus the regular nuchal scan but it's much more accurate than the traditional nuchal blood test. Apparently it's nearly as accurate as a CVS but without any risk.

I'm the only person I know who is having this test and nobody else seems to have heard of it let alone have been offered it. I just wondered if others have and knowledge of it and how accurate it is.

womma Sat 05-Oct-13 10:37:13

Great news!

LightTripper Tue 08-Oct-13 14:58:43

Hello all!

Got my Panorama back on Monday (only just over a week after going for the test: blood taken on Friday afternoon, received by US lab on Monday, report dated the following Sunday and then I got a call at 9.30am from the Birth Company letting me know all was good!) Found out the gender too (you can choose whether you want to or not: apparently even if you don't want to find out straight away, if you change your mind later they just reissue the resport with the gender included!)

Suzi Sorry to hear you've had an unlucky sample. Obviously talk to your clinic, but from what I have read (and I am NOT a medic or scientist!) it MAY be worth trying the Panorama if Harmony doesn't work. It's a funny one because overall the Panorama re-draw rate is actually HIGHER than for Harmony. However, one of the things Panorama is supposed to be good at is getting good results even when the "fetal fraction" is low (this is the % of the cell-free DNA floating around in your blood that came from your fetus rather than from you). If you look on the Panorama Test website (particularly the bit for clinicians) you can find out more about it - and also on the Harmony test website (Ariosadx) there is a good presentation by Ken Song (?) in the bit for clinicians that explains why Harmony needs a good fetal fraction. Panorama is newer - so uses slightly newer technology that actually tries to net off the mother's DNA from the Baby's (rather than using counting methods). This is why it can do better at low fetal fractions (whereas Harmony needs enough fetal DNA that you can see the patterns through the "background noise" of Mum's DNA, as I understand it).

I think none of the tests will give you a result if your fetal fraction is below 4%, but whether they can give you a result above that depends on your particular sample and how clear the patterns are. Most people have 10%+ fetal fraction (and sometimes up to 40%!) so they are fine. Mine was only 4.8% and I still got a result from Harmony. Harmony also takes a cheek swab from the father, which apparently can help them give you a result in some cases that would otherwise be borderline.

I wondered if my fetal fraction is lower because of my weight. Apparently the heavier you are the more of the DNA will be yours rather than the fetus's (kind of makes sense - to do with relative size of Mum and fetus and at 10 weeks all fetuses are about the same size!) - so you get a lower fetal fraction. I am 5'11 and over 70kgs, and 70kgs seems to be about the weight at which the fetal fraction starts falling (on average). It isn't a health issue - just a relative size issue - so anything above that will slightly increase the chance that they don't get enough fetal DNA. There is more about this in the Ken Song video in the Providers section of the Harmony website too.

However, the fact Panorama is newer also means it's less tested (so if you look at the studies available for the two tests, the sample sizes are much smaller for Panorama so far, whereas Harmony has been around longer so we know more about its success rate).

So it's a bit of a trade-off - they are both good tests, but it may be worth talking to FMC about Panorama if the second Harmony doesn't work, as they are doing slightly different things!

LightTripper Tue 08-Oct-13 15:00:32

Sorry, in the third paragraph that should say Panorama both times, not Harmony (it's Panorama that takes a cheek swab!) This stuff is all pretty complex and confusing...

Worriedthistimearound Thu 10-Oct-13 09:00:33

Hi, I have a thread going in pregnancy but wondered if I could ask a question about harmony here?
So received results yesterday. All good and baby girl. The percentage was 6.6%. I started to worry about accuracy and now, this morning, having received another email I'm very nervous.

3wks ago I also took an early gender test with a company called Nimble Diagnostics. I had to prick my finger at home and send blood. Anyway, thus mining they emailed to say baby is a boy.

So, I'm worrying that A) I've got excited about a girl after my boys
B) if they've got the sex wrong, are the other results wrong?

Of course, it could well be that the other test is wrong but how could they detect Y if it isn't there?
Sorry for ramble. I'm just so confused now.

CrispyFB Thu 10-Oct-13 16:09:54

Hurray LightTripper for a great result!! That's very interesting about the cheek swab.. thank you for sharing.

I replied to your post over on Pregnancy, Worriedthistimearound - I really think that Nimble Diagnostics are not anywhere near as reliable as Harmony. Not just the bad reports on the Internet, but also if somewhere with a fantastic research reputation as the FMC stands behind Harmony, I would trust their judgement over an unknown company with a questionable reputation.

LightTripper Thu 10-Oct-13 16:59:29

That Amazon link on the other thread is pretty damning for the pink and blue test... And all the wrong results there seem to have been told boy then had a girl. So either they just tell everybody it's a boy, or it must be pretty easy to contaminate (maybe with DNA from one of your little boys or your partner?). But either way, I would trust Harmony far more!

YikesHereWeGo Thu 10-Oct-13 19:32:57

Anyone want to join me on the 2 week wait for harmony results? Just had my blood test today. Eek!

LondonSuperTrooper Sat 12-Oct-13 07:55:08

Hello, please can anyone tell me whether there's a "best" to have the harmony test?


LightTripper Sat 12-Oct-13 09:21:50

Hello! Think you are missing a word: best place? If so, I don't think so. The actual analysis is always done at the same lab in the US, so all the local clinic is doing is giving you a scan (to check the pregnancy is there) and then taking some blood, sending it off, and telling you the result. So it shouldn't matter where you have it done!

CrispyFB Sat 12-Oct-13 11:44:57

It's a matter of price pretty much! I think the Fetal Medicine Centre is probably the cheapest but that is just a guess.

LightTripper Sat 12-Oct-13 12:29:05

The only two I know are FMC 580, Birth Company 600 (and can have Panorama instead of Harmony if you prefer: they are basically very similar). Outside London seems to be generally more expensive but the number of clinics offering it seems to be growing fast, so it's worth checking your local one as at some point they will have local competition too!

LightTripper Sat 12-Oct-13 12:29:56

Also with checking for each place if the price includes scan or not. Both the above prices include scan.

LondonSuperTrooper Sat 12-Oct-13 15:36:55

Thank you for your replies. My initial question was to find out whether there is a best time in which to carry out the test?

I think I pretty much decided to go to FMC but not sure when to go iyswim.

LightTripper Sat 12-Oct-13 16:03:07

Oh I see!
I think any time from 10 weeks for Harmony, and any time from 9 weeks for Panorama.

There is a talk on the Harmony website where they talk about fetal fraction in each week (which is the amount of the fetus's DNA in your blood, and I think the main driver of whether they can get good results or not), and it is pretty flat from 10 weeks right through to 22 (when it starts to go up). So I don't think there's any particular reason to wait beyond 10 weeks for Harmony (or 9 for Panorama, which is supposed to be a bit more accurate at low fetal fractions because it uses they mother and fathers DNA and slightly different maths ... But both are basically very similar).

I don't know if that's at all helpful!


LondonSuperTrooper Sat 12-Oct-13 17:17:02

Diane, thank you for the link. I'll have a read now.

womma Sat 12-Oct-13 18:41:45

Yikes, there's two or three of us waiting here. I'm hoping my results will come through at the end of this week. Rooting for all of us.

YikesHereWeGo Sat 12-Oct-13 20:49:03

Hi womma! Good to have company :-) I've just had a look back on this thread and it looks like suzi and sam might also be waiting for results? Gosh, I really hope we all get good news. It's such a lottery isn't it. I feel like I've had so much bad luck in the last couple of years I so want this time to work out. Fx for us all grin

womma Sat 12-Oct-13 20:57:52

Yes, fingers, arms, eyes and legs crossed here! Let's hope a good clear result for all of us. xxx

womma Tue 15-Oct-13 17:44:27

Results came through today, two days early. I'm in the low risk group. Phew!

pumpkinsweetie Tue 15-Oct-13 18:25:41

Just a question, as left mws feeling very confused not to mention worried.
Had my nt (harmony) at 13 weeks, the actual nuchal fold, normal. I'm 28 weeks and today mw has finally given me my blood results and they have come back 1 in 163confused
All mw said is that i'm above the cut off point for screening which is 150 so i wouldn't have tests.

I am 29 with a bmi of 38, what does this mean, am i still low risk?

I can't believe they have kept the results from me until now, now it is too late for any diagnostic tests if i should have required themconfused

CrispyFB Tue 15-Oct-13 18:45:57

Great news womma!!

pumpkinsweetie - I wouldn't worry. Harmony outweighs the NT screening result every time. The NHS isn't really fully aware of Harmony yet (well, some medical professionals are, plenty aren't or at least not in much detail) so they just go by what they know and their rules.

You're still low risk because of your Harmony result, but even so, 1 in 163 is not considered high risk either. Harmony is pretty much as close to diagnostic as you can get - in nearly every case you'd only get a diagnostic amnio if it had come back positive. For instance my NT screening gives me 1 in 5 but I am confident in Harmony to not do any further testing.

pumpkinsweetie Tue 15-Oct-13 19:04:27

Thankyou crispy feel much more positive now, not that i wouldn't love my baby any less if i was that 1 in 163 x

womma Tue 15-Oct-13 19:48:06

Thanks Crispy! I'm hoping the others who are waiting hear good news very soon as well.

YikesHereWeGo Tue 15-Oct-13 20:19:20

Oooh, womma, that's excellent news, I bet you're thrilled?! Are you making a big 'announcement' about your pregnancy to family & friends now?
I'm still counting down the days. 3 down, 7 (working days) to go. Seems like an eternity to wait...

womma Wed 16-Oct-13 08:48:26

Yikes, I'm chuffed to bits! I'm just waiting for this awful 'morning' sickness to go and then I'll be staging a full interpretative dance performance in the street to celebrate. I've already told our family, partly because even if it all went wrong, I'd still want them to know, and also because I've had to explain why I've been such a limp lettuce with this dreadful sickness recently.

Hopefully you won't have to wait the full two weeks, it might come back a little bit earlier than you're expecting (mine from FMC came in two days earlier than I was thinking it would, I wasn't prepared for that!). I have to say, my cupboards have never been tidier than they are now. Keeping busy helps.

I'm rooting for you! xxx

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