§ Mr. Alton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what information she has on the link between chorionic villus sampling intrauterine tests and subsequent deformities in babies subjected to the test; 
(2) if she will launch an investigation into the links between chorionic villus sampling and deformities in babies; 
(3) what follow-up of mothers and babies who have been subjected to chorionic villus sampling tests her Department undertakes; 
(4) how many cases of deformities in babies subjected to the chorionic villus sampling test her Department knows of. 
§ Mr. Sackville
I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) on 22 March, columns207–208.
A further article in The Lancet in 19941 considered the risks associated with chorionic villus sampling undertaken between 56 and 72 days' gestation.
The follow-up of mothers and babies is a matter for local clinical decision. The continuing surveillance and monitoring of babies' health to detect any deviation from normal health is accepted as good clinical practice in the national health service. The recent report of the Advisory Group on Congential Limb Reduction Defects published in February 1995 drew attention to the need for a hypothesis-driven study of the putative causal link between chorionic villus sampling and limb reduction deformity. The Department is awaiting the results of a major study carried out in the United States before taking 419W this forward. It seems most likely that this study will address many of these questions.1Firth Boyd, Chamberlain, Mackenzie and Huson, analysis of limb reduction defects in babies exposed to chorionic villus sampling, The Lancet, Vol 343, 30 April 1994.