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Prenatal screening during pregnancy may involve a variety of tests that your doctor may recommend to determine the likelihood of a baby being born with specific chromosomal abnormalities. A Dual Marker Test or Double Marker Test is one of them. During the first trimester of pregnancy, a doctor will typically recommend the Double marker test as part of routine prenatal care. A foetus may experience multiple difficulties due to genetic abnormalities that impact its development. These abnormalities may be caused by an imbalance in the number of chromosomes, structural defects in the chromosomes, or an excessive amount of genetic material found within a specific chromosome. These abnormalities can lead to chromosomal disorders, miscarriages, and congenital malformations. These kinds of fetal anomalies might result in postnatal malformations in the newborn if they are not discovered. The double marker or dual marker test is useful in identifying such anomalies.
What Is Double Marker Test?
The double marker test, also known as maternal serum screening, is a prenatal screening procedure used to identify possible hormone imbalances during pregnancy as well as to determine the likelihood of specific chromosomal abnormalities, including Down syndrome. Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A (PAPP-A) and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) are the two substances in the mother’s blood that are measured by the test. Elevated concentrations of these chemicals could suggest a higher chance of chromosomal abnormalities or developmental issues during foetal development. In order to avoid problems either before or after birth, this test is frequently advised during the first trimester.
It is not necessary for every pregnant woman to have a double marker test. For screening purposes, an obstetrician might suggest a double marker test if you have high risk factors for chromosomal abnormalities, like:
- Mother’s age is more than 35.
- Chromosomal abnormalities in the family history.
- Previous child’s history of chromosomal abnormalities.
- Radiation exposure history.
- Prolonged smoking history.
- Mother with diabetes for a long time.
- Viral infection when pregnant.
- Maternal use of specific medications.
What Is The Procedure Of Double Marker Test?
For pregnant women who are curious about their foetus’ possible risk for chromosomal disorders, the Double Marker Test provides a secure and non-invasive choice. The Double Marker Test is merely a screening tool; it is not a diagnostic tool.
Following are the steps involved in the double marker test procedure:
- You will first have a tourniquet placed around your arm.
- Next, the injection site is cleaned and disinfected with a cotton swab soaked in 70% alcohol before the needle is inserted.
- After that, a tiny needle will be put into your arm vein to draw the necessary volume of blood, which will then be collected in a test tube.
- After that, the needle is taken out, and to stop an infection, an adhesive sticker is applied to the puncture site.
- A sample is sent to a lab for additional analysis and testing.
Blood levels of pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) and beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) are tested. It is observed that whilst male foetuses have 22 pairs of XY chromosomes, female foetuses typically have 22 pairs of XX chromosomes. One of the numerous chromosomal disorders brought on by having an extra set of chromosomes is trisomy. Trisomy 21 or Down syndrome is brought on by an additional copy of chromosome 21. Having an additional copy of either chromosome 18 (which causes Edward’s syndrome) or chromosome 13 (which causes Patau’s syndrome) is another common chromosomal anomaly.
The nuchal translucency (NT) scan, an ultrasound that looks at your baby’s transparent tissue at the back of its neck, is interpreted in addition to the results of the blood test. There are two possible outcomes for the test mentioned above: screen positive and screen negative. But the test is not only reliant on the blood specimens. In addition, it is dependent upon the mother’s age. Additionally, it is dependent upon the time frame in which the test is performed during the nine months of pregnancy. As a result, the findings are shown as ratios in the reports. Results that fall between 1:10 and 1:250 are referred to as “screen positive.” They pose a serious risk to the growing embryo as well as the mother.
A safe result with fewer threats or risks is a ratio of 1:1000 or above. A 1:10 ratio indicates a rather high probability of illness development in 1 out of every 10 pregnancies. Thus, a 1:1000 ratio would imply that there is one high-risk development factor in every 1000 pregnancies. This is really insignificant. In the event of a positive test result, the physician could advise additional diagnostic procedures such as amniocentesis.
Is The Double Marker Test !00% Accurate?
Early diagnosis of certain diseases, including Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome, can be facilitated by the double marker test. As a fairly accurate method of problem detection, this test is often recommended. Its sensitivity is merely roughly 70%. There are two main categories for the Double Marker test results: Positive and Negative. The findings may not entirely rule out the baby’s diagnosis of a disease. It just evaluates the infant’s likelihood of having the condition. A moderate, high, or low risk of anomalies is established based on the test results. In the absence of the double marker test, the NT scan has a lower success rate in identifying any abnormalities.
How Long Does A Double Marker Test Take?
The marker test is very simple and doesn’t require much time, making it comparable to a simple blood test. Until instructed otherwise, the patient can continue on eating and drinking as normal. Since the test is non-invasive, there are no hazards associated with it. The test’s simple structure is elucidated by its initial ultrasonic scan method. A nurse obtains a blood sample after the NT-Scan, which is then examined. In general, this test has no unique prerequisites. But before you take the test, let your doctor know about all of your sensitivities and medical concerns. Additionally, let your doctor know about all of the medications you take, as some may need to be stopped due to their potential to alter the test’s results.
Is The Double Marker Test Painful?
Since it’s a blood test, there won’t be any pain at all. The prick of the needle during blood collection is the only pain a patient may feel.
Knowing about the various prenatal tests, such as the Double Marker Test, as an expectant parent gives you the ability to make informed decisions throughout your pregnancy. The Double Marker Test is an important prenatal screening procedure that is intended to provide you with important information about the health of the child you are expecting. Anticipating the birth of a new life is exciting, and it’s important to safeguard the welfare of both the mother and the kid. The Double Marker Test’s ability to identify potential chromosomal abnormalities helps with early diagnosis and permits the necessary medical interventions and counselling.
Situated in the centre of Trivandrum, Kerala, KJK Hospital is a renowned centre for gynaecology and reproductive research. They have been in the industry for 21 years, helping couples as well as individuals with infertility and other reproductive difficulties. The hospital employs highly qualified physicians and nurses who treat patients with compassion and skill. As the top fertility hospital in Kerala, they guarantee their patients receive help when needed, with services available around the clock. For more information and appointments connect with us now!
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