There are many tests that have to be done during the pregnancy period. It is done mainly to determine the health of both the fetus and the mother. The biomarker tests are there to determine the congenital and genetic abnormalities in the fetus. The markers will tell if the fetus is suffering from Down syndrome and any other defects that will impair its physiological and psychological development. Here are some things you need to know about the double and quadruple marker test.
What are Double and Quadruple Marker Tests?
The double marker test is also known as maternal serum cleaning and is part of the much more comprehensive screening test where it is checked to see if the fetus has developed any sort of neurological disorder. If irregularities are found, then they can evolve into further serious medical conditions. Down syndrome and Edward syndrome are the two medical conditions that can be found using the double marker test. The screening window for the double-marker test will be from 11 weeks to 14 weeks. A normal range shows that there will be no such risks.
A quadruple marker test identifies the presence of genetic abnormalities in the unborn baby. If the tests show hormones (i.e., AFP levels) within the stable range, then it means that the fetus is in healthy terms. If the test rates are higher or lower, then the chances of the baby with Down syndrome having spinal problems are higher.
When are Double and Quadruple Marker Tests?
A double-marker test is a part of the first trimester screening. It is considered a primary screening and can also be called a predictive screening. It can help detect any chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus.
A quadruple marker test also detects any unusual growth in the fetus. A quadruple marker test is usually conducted in the second trimester. It can help estimate the risk of the baby developing Down syndrome, Edward’s syndrome, and neural tube effects. It is usually recommended to do it between 16 and 18 weeks.
There are many other factors that are considered when performing these tests on pregnant women:
- Age of the pregnant woman
- Family history of such disabilities
- Babies gestational age
These tests are mandatorily suggested for women who are older than 35 years of age because the chances of them developing such birth disorders are fairly high. But the woman can decide to take it up or not. These tests are prescribed along with the normal prenatal test requirements.
What Does a Quad Marker Screen Measure?
For the quad marker screening, a simple blood test is conducted on the mother. The blood sample is then sent to the lab for ascertainment of four things that are usually seen in the baby’s brain: blood, spinal fluid, and amniotic fluid. They are:
- Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP): It is a protein produced by the baby’s liver and other organs.
- Unconjugated estriol (UE): A protein produced in the placenta and the liver of the baby
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG): It is a hormone produced by the placenta.
- Inhibin-A: another hormone produced by the placenta.
The expected amount of these hormones in the mother’s body will change weekly, and therefore, it is very important to tell the doctor how long you are in your pregnancy. High AFP levels indicate that the baby is more likely to have neural tube defects. It can also indicate that the mother is expecting twins or that the baby is older than expected. Lower AFP levels can confirm the fact that the baby is likely to have Down syndrome.
If inhibin and hCG levels are higher than expected, then the baby might be at an increased risk of having Down syndrome.
Results of the test
If the results of the test are normal, which means that all the hormones are within the normal range, then there is a 98% chance that the baby will be healthy and the mother will experience a healthy pregnancy. They will have a completely tension-free and stress-free pregnancy period.
But if the tests come back abnormal, which means that the hormonal levels are higher or lower than the normal range, then there are chances that the baby might have certain birth defects. A quad marker is a screening test that can only assess or predict the chances of birth defects. If the quad marker test results are abnormal, then the patient is suggested to go for a detailed checkup involving an ultrasound scan and amniocentesis. Taking a quad marker test is not a mandate, but it will be appropriate if you have any of the reasons mentioned above to be on the safe side. One should need to know about the double and quadruple marker test before it is done.
Having regular checkups, as suggested by the best gynaecologist in trivandrum, from the early stages of pregnancy can help you be tension-free. Having tests conducted will help you understand your body and will help both you and your baby’s growth and development.
KJK Hospital is a well known fertility research and gynecology center located in the heart of Trivandrum , Kerala. They have been in the business for 21 years, resolving issues related to infertility and other reproductive challenges faced by individuals and couples. The hospital has skilled doctors and nurses who deal with the patients with high proficiency and compassion. Being the best fertility hospital in kerala, we ensure assistance to our patients as and when necessary with 24/7 available services.