North York General Hospital has three large clinical genetics laboratories:
We provide a testing service to the region — and serve the entire province for some tests.
Cytogenetics is the study of chromosomes and the diseases/conditions caused by chromosome abnormalities. Our cytogenetics laboratory is one of the largest full service laboratories in the province. We offer testing for prenatal, postnatal and oncology specimens.
We are a leader in the establishment of special testing methods and in the development of new technologies.
Toronto, ON M2K 1E1
Our molecular genetics laboratory offers DNA testing for many different genetic disorders,
with particular expertise in neurological conditions such as Huntington disease, and genes that cause hereditary forms of breast and ovarian cancer.
We are one of the largest genetic testing centres for these conditions in Canada. Diagnostic testing, carrier testing and "predictive" testing — which can tell someone whether they are likely to develop a certain genetic condition during their lifetime — are all offered by the laboratory.
Toronto ON M2K 1E1
Maternal Serum Screening
Prenatal screening tests include several biochemical markers (naturally occurring substances present in the blood) that are measured in the first and/or second trimesters. Ultrasound information can also be combined with these biochemical markers.
Screening tests can provide information about a pregnant woman's risk of having a baby with certain birth defects, such as Down syndrome, Trisomy18 and spina bifida.
We were the first hospital in Ontario to offer Maternal Serum Screening (MSS). In 1999, North York General was among the first health care facilities in the world to offer integrated prenatal screening. We are recognized internationally as a leader in the field.
In addition, the hospital manages the Ontario Maternal Serum Screening Database, the provincial repository of prenatal screening information and a valuable resource tool.
Notice to health care providers: Enhanced prenatal screening tests
Since April 1, 2016, North York General Hospital has replaced the First Trimester Screening (FTS) test with an improved test called Enhanced FTS. This test adds two additional markers: placental growth factor (PlGF) and AFP to the current markers PAPP-A, beta-hCG and NT.
Enhanced FTS has a higher detection rate and a lower false positive rate for Down syndrome. Therefore, patients will have access to a test in the first trimester whose performance approaches that of IPS.
No action is needed on your part. When ordering FTS for your patient, the laboratory will automatically perform Enhanced FTS.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of the SOGC guidelines regarding screening for fetal neural tube defects (October 2014): “The primary use of MS-AFP for the screening of open/closed neural tube defects screening should be discontinued with the limited clinical exceptions of pregnant women with a BMI >35 kg/m2 or when geographical or clinical access factors limit timely and good quality ultrasound screening at 18-22 weeks.”
For more information on Enhanced FTS please see our Frequently Asked Questions for singleton pregnancies
or for twin pregnancies
. Questions and queries can be directed to the Maternal Serum Screening Coordinator at 416-756-6653.
North York General Hospital, General site
4001 Leslie Street, 3rd floor
Toronto ON M2K 1E1