The chorion is the portion of fetal membrane that eventually forms the fetal side of the placenta. The chorion contains chorionic villi, which are small finger-like projections. These villi are snipped or suctioned off for study in the procedure. Since the chorionic villi are of fetal origin, examining samples of them can provide the genetic makeup of the fetus. This test is performed to identify congenital defects. Experts use the sample to study the DNA, chromosomes, and enzymes of the fetus. The test can be done before amniocentesis, about 10 to 12 weeks after a missed period.
Update Date 8/7/2012
Updated by: A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine (5/31/2012)