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Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

What's the multiple marker screening, and when is it performed?

Re: What's the multiple marker screening, and when is it performed?

The Bump Expert

The multiple marker screening (or triple screen or quad screen) is a simple blood test done between 15 and 20 weeks to detect the level of different substances in your blood: estriol, Human chorionic gonadotropin(hCG), Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and, if you're having a quad screen, Inhibin-A.Estriol is a hormone manufactured in combination by you, your placenta, and baby, while hCG and Inhibin-A are hormones made solely by the placenta. AFP is a substance made by your baby, and passes in a small amount from the placenta to your blood. Together, levels of these substances show baby's risk (or lack of) certain birth defects. (The only difference between the triple and quad screen is that the quad screen is more likely to identify whether a pregnancy is at risk for Down syndrome, and is less likely to give a false positive.) Abnormal results don't necessarily mean there's a problem, though -- it's simply a signal that further testing -- probably CVS or amniocentesis -- is a good idea.

Make sure not to procrastinate! This test can only be accurately performed between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, and all it requires is a blood drawing. The triple screen can also detect whether your pregnancy is further along than previously thought. And, if you’re beginning to suspect you might be eating for more than just two, this test will be able to tell you just how many buns you have in that oven!

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Your pregnancy and birth. 4th ed. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2005.

Paula Kashtan

re: Q: What's a multiple marker?

I didn't have an opportunity to take this test. A miscalculation in my due date caused me to miss it!! Hopefully my baby doesn't have anything wrong with him! Are there any signs in my body that could tip me off if something were wrong?

pigsamurai |

re: Q: What's a multiple marker?

I actually wish I didn't know about any of these tests and had missed them. I have a hard time with the desire to know if or if not the child has 'problems'. I would like to bask in the pregnancy miracle and be hopeful when the delivery comes that all will be well. And if not, then feel the emotions, and pray to God to have the strength to get through. I have an appointment for an NT in two weeks but am still confused if I should actually follow through.

bebetulips |

re: Q: What's a multiple marker?

i actually had this test done about 2 weeks ago and the doctor's office called me really early in the morning a week later and i pretty much freaked out cause they don't even open for another 45 minutes...but it was to tell me that my blood had somehow gotten switched or there was some sort of mix up. my hubby and i were talking about it last night and decided against it. it seemed as though it was some sort of sign that maybe it wasn't necessary. and it's not like it would matter what the outcome would be...he/she would still be our little peapod...

rpridgen8 |

re: Q: What's a multiple marker?

Oh I loved my NT scan but I've never even heard of this on I'll have to ask my doctor when I go in on the 12th

BetsyDavis |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I have decided to not get it. The doctors always give me a dissappointed look when I tell them I have decided not to get it.

KickFace6 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I'm so scared to have this test and I can't stop thinking about it. My doctor said I should but the entire thing terrifies me. I don't know what to do and I feel crippled by indecision.

cr8019 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I am still undecided, but I agree with rpridgen8 that it wouldn't really matter what the outcome is. The thing that scares me most about this is the possibility of having "further testing" which would most likely be an amniocentesis. The idea that the amnio has even the slightest possibility of causing a miscarriage scares me to death!! However, I do think it's neat that this test can detect multiple births.

hockeybride113 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I will have this screening simply to know if there is a need to prepare myself for a situation at hand. Having a baby with special needs takes extra special time to plan, possible extra equipment also. I have a friend that did not receive these tests and found out at birth that her child had trisomy 21...she loves that baby and wouldnt have changed anything except maybe the chance to have prepared for this surprise. children deserve the best chance possible and if you are able to get 5 more months to research and find programs and/or school districts that are able to enhance this childs future why would you not take it? i dont think you are bad if you dont have it, we just decided this is why we are getting it.

gent678 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

OMG I HAD THE TEST DONE AND TILL THIS MINUTE IM EXTREMELY WORRIED BECUZ MY DOCTOR SAID MY RESULTS CAME BACK AFP POSITIVE, BUT I'VE RESEARCHED IT AND FOUND THT MOST CASES ARE FALSE-POSITIVE, IM HOPEPING..PRAYING ITS A FALSE ALARM, I COULDNT IMAGINE HAVING AN ABORTION AT THIS TIME OF PREGNANCY, I ALSO JUST READ HERE THAT ITS NOT ACCURATE IF NOT DONE BETWEEN 15-20 WEEKS.. AND IM ONLY 13 WEEKS BUT MY DOCTORS INSIST IM 15... I HAVNT GOTTEN AN ULTRASOUND YET. BUT OMG!!! IM SO WORRIED.. I ALREADY LOVE MY BABY AND DNT WNT TO LOSE IT.. HAS ANY1 HAD THIS EXPERIENCE????

ARiANY |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

ARiANY - I had a false positive come back during the nuchal test done during my first pregnancy. The neck folds looked fine, but something in my bloodwork came back as abnormal. I had an amnio performed, which was unpleasant, but nothing too terribly painful and my results from that came back that everything was 'normal'. Today I have a beautiful, healthy 9 month old girl. The majority of the time these tests give false positives, but I'm still glad I got it done and did so again on this pregnancy (i'm 14 weeks right now and this time the results came back fine). I wouldn't spend too much time and enery worrying yourself.

matkinson002 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I am having the quad screen done next week. I chose this testing b/c if there is something wrong, I would like to know sooner than later in order to prepare. My doctor also emphasized the tiny amount of false positives and the tinier chance of there actually being something amiss. My DH and I would only consider termination if our child had something absolutely catastrophically wrong with him/her. I would not like to have an amnio, b/c of the risk of m/c.

PolishWonder |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I had the quad screening done after an abnormal ultrasound at week 10 - there was what was later diagnosed as a cystic hygromer - which in turn caused us to schedule a CVS... which could not be completed because my placenta had moved up the wall and too much uterus for them to go through - then at week 15 they tried to do an amnio.. but amnion and the chorion had not fused yet - therefore they could not do it. We tried again today - Week 16 (after 6 weeks of agony thinking something is wrong with our BB) - and I was having a contraction and they weren't comfortable doing it today because of the location of the contraction exactly were the needle would have to go through... We have decided to have the amnio still.. even after receiving a negative on our Quad screening results to be completely sure that we can rest easy --- it is definitely helping us get excited for BB!

drbandkgb |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

Due to my age, 38, I am having the test instead of an amnio. The amnio causes more risk for miscarriage, so because of my numerous health problems and having taken numerous medications before I found out I was pregnant, we have decided that we want to know, to be prepared for whatever God delivers to us. Our test is July 2, 2010.

auntdydy |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I am 36 and I got my results back. This is my second child and the first one had 1/500 chance of downs but it was ok. However this time, my baby has a 1/202 chance. I decided to have the test because if we are going to have a child that has problems, we need to be prepared. You need to do what is right for your family. I am having an amnio in a few days and if the results are not normal, we will start researching and getting ready to bring home a baby with special needs. Bringing home a baby that you and your family isn't prepared for that will need lots of care and lots of things already set up for me isn't the best for me and my family. So, when we go home, we will be prepared.

jenniferfrance |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

i'm very confused....i had this test done and just got my test results back this week (i am 17 weeks) they said my chance for downs is 1 in 10,000. my chance for trisomy 18 is 1 in 6,000. my chance for neural tube defects is only 1 in 160. my AFP came back at 2.4 which is higher than the 2.0 norm. how can all the other test results be fine and the last one be so NOT fine. i'm so worried!!!!

ndjen1 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

My NT fold came back slighlty high. The dr gave me all my options...getting a CVS, amnio, and the quad screening. I declined to get any further testing. My baby is going to be completely loved whether it is "normal" or has special needs. All the false positives and what ifs are driving me crazy. This is my second pregnancy and I know I need to be positive and level headed for the sake of my baby. Worrying and crying isn't going to help any! Good Luck to all you ladies at there going through the same thing!

SuzieQ429 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I sympathize with you Suzie. I had the triple screen done last week and recieved an "emergency" phone call from my OB's office today saying the doctor needed to see me ASAP to go over the results. When I commented "oh that's not good" the nurse didn't correct me. I had an ultrasound last week and we thought things looked good, so I guess we'll find out tomorrow just what the issue is. I am 19 and a half weeks into my first pregnancy and already love "Sunshine" more than I thought was possible. Keeping our fingers crossed that everything will be okay.

msconduct6 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

While it is tough when you get that call from the Doc (the day after they told me it was negative) telling you that upon review, the screening is positive, it's a hard pill to swallow. I was angry then nervous and am now okay. He told me it could be a false+ and had me schedule a Level 2 ultrasound to look for Down's markers. I already told them that I DO NOT want to do an amniocentesis. Unless I review that those have become safer during the last 10 years, I just won't do it. I love this baby already and just want to be prepared for it. I say it's better to know and be prepared.

Mayra26 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I had the 1st part of the screen done a few weeks ago and they told me I was low risk (the two possibles are low or high risk, at least where I go) I go for the second blood test in a week. I wanted to know, only to prepare myself in case it had down's, not for anything else.

littleboo227 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

By telling you not to procrastinate, this answer implies that you have to have these tests done, which is misleading. These tests are totally optional, and DO NOT tell you for certain whether your baby has birth defects. You have to do further, invasive testing in order to get a definitive answer, which comes with the risk of miscarriage. Your OB should be presenting these tests as optional, and you should not feel pressured into doing them.

jwbtegpsu |

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