Double Marker Test When Should You Get It
The double marker test is a blood test that is used to screen for Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, and Patau syndrome in pregnant women. It is typically performed between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy, along with an ultrasound called a nuchal translucency (NT) scan.
The double marker test measures two substances in the blood
* Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) This hormone is produced by the placenta during pregnancy.
* Pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) This protein is produced by the placenta and the fetus.
Low levels of hCG and PAPP-A can be a sign of Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, or Patau syndrome. However, the double marker test is not a diagnostic test. If your results are abnormal, you will need to have further testing, such as an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
The double marker test is not mandatory, but it is recommended for pregnant women who are
* Over the age of 35
* Have a family history of Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, or Patau syndrome
* Have had a previous child with a chromosomal abnormality
* Have had an abnormal NT scan
The double marker test is a safe and painless procedure. It is done by taking a blood sample from your arm. The results of the test are usually available within a few days.
If you are pregnant and have questions about the double marker test, talk to your doctor. They can help you decide if the test is right for you and explain the risks and benefits.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about the double marker test
* The double marker test is not 100% accurate. It can only give you an estimate of your risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality.
* If your results are abnormal, it does not mean that your baby definitely has a chromosomal abnormality. You will need to have further testing to confirm the diagnosis.
* The double marker test is not a substitute for regular prenatal care. You should continue to see your doctor for regular checkups and ultrasounds throughout your pregnancy.