Individuals at 50% risk of Huntington's disease (HD) who prefer not to know their carrier status, might opt for exclusion prenatal diagnosis (ePND) or exclusion preimplantation genetic diagnosis (ePGD). This study aims to provide a better understanding of couples' motives for choosing ePND or ePND, and surveys couples' experiences in order to make recommendations for the improvement of counselling for exclusion testing. This qualitative retrospective interview study focussed on couples who underwent ePND or ePGD for HD in the period 1996-2010. Seventeen couples were included of which 13 had experienced ePND and 6 ePGD. Mean time-interval since exclusion-testing was 3.9 years. Couples' moral reservations regarding termination of pregnancy (TOP) or discarding healthy embryos were counterbalanced by the wish to protect their future child against HD. Seven couples had terminated a total of 11 pregnancies with a 50% HD risk, none showed regret. ePGD was used by couples who wanted to avoid (another) TOP. ePND and ePGD are acceptable reproductive options for a specific group of counsellees. To guarantee sound standards of care, it is imperative that candidate couples be given in-depth non-directive counselling about all possible scenarios, and adequate professional and psychological support prior to, during and after ePND/ePGD.

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Clinical Genetics: an international journal of genetics and molecular medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Rij, M., de Die-Smulders, C., Bijlsma, E., de Wert, G., Geraedts, J., Roos, R., & Tibben, A. (2013). Evaluation of exclusion prenatal and exclusion preimplantation genetic diagnosis for Huntington's disease in the Netherlands. Clinical Genetics: an international journal of genetics and molecular medicine, 83(2), 118–124. doi:10.1111/cge.12058