the dual marker test in pregnancy
What is the dual marker test
The dual marker test, also known as the maternal serum screening test, is a blood test that is offered to pregnant women between 9 and 13 weeks of gestation. The test measures the levels of two specific markers in the mother’s blood
* Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) This hormone is produced by the placenta during pregnancy and helps to confirm pregnancy.
* Pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) This protein is produced by the placenta and fetus during pregnancy.
The levels of hCG and PAPP-A can be used to assess the risk of the fetus having chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, and Patau syndrome.
How is the dual marker test performed
The dual marker test is a simple blood test that can be performed at most doctor’s offices or laboratories. The blood sample is drawn from the arm and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results of the test are typically available within a few days.
What are the risks of the dual marker test
There are no known risks associated with the dual marker test. The blood test is a safe and painless procedure.
What are the results of the dual marker test
The results of the dual marker test are reported as a risk ratio. A risk ratio of 1100 means that there is a 1 in 100 chance that the fetus has a chromosomal abnormality. A risk ratio of 110,000 means that there is a 1 in 10,000 chance that the fetus has a chromosomal abnormality.
What if the dual marker test is positive
A positive dual marker test does not mean that the fetus definitely has a chromosomal abnormality. It simply means that the fetus is at an increased risk of having a chromosomal abnormality. If the dual marker test is positive, the doctor may recommend further testing, such as an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.
What if the dual marker test is negative
A negative dual marker test does not mean that the fetus definitely does not have a chromosomal abnormality. It simply means that the fetus is at a lower risk of having a chromosomal abnormality. However, it is important to remember that no test is 100% accurate. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy, talk to your doctor.
The dual marker test is a valuable tool that can help to identify pregnant women who are at an increased risk of having a child with a chromosomal abnormality. However, it is important to remember that the test is not perfect and that it should not be used as a substitute for a full diagnostic evaluation.