Why serum marker tests are an essential need and not a choice… What can these markers tell about your unborn child’s health? Are you worried about the health of your unborn baby? Do you want to know how the baby is doing in your womb? In this post, you’ll know all about the Serum Marker tests, because they are crucial in understanding the health of the fetus.
What are antenatal serum marker tests?
Blood serum markers form the basis of antenatal screening. Serum markers in pregnant women help identify high-risk pregnancies inclusive of neural tube defects (defect in the formation of brain, spine or spinal cord). So, these screeners can also detect chromosomal trisomy conditions as well as missing pairs. The chromosomal trisomy condition means the addition or deletion of the chromosomal pair.
The developing baby of the pregnant mother can secret the biomarkers and are helpful for the doctors to identify and quarantine later from the serum sample of the mother.
Types of serum markers
There are Various Serum Markers that can measure the risk of Chromosomal abnormalities during pregnancy. But, any screening positively indicating a high risk needs to be confirmed via invasive diagnostic tests. So, here are all of the required Serum Markers, which will help you to identify the chromosomal conditions with the fetus.
A. Double marker screening
Markers: Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A (PAPP-A) and free β-human chorionic gonadotrophin (free β-hCG)
Screening is performed between 9th-13th weeks of pregnancy because this test assesses the overall fetal health to check for any developmental disorders. Low levels of PAPP-A indicates the risk of Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21) and Edward’s syndrome (Trisomy 18). The increased levels of free β-hCG are the marker of Down’s syndrome in the fetus.
B. Triple marker screening
Markers: Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotrophin (B-hCG) and unconjugated Estriol (E3)
The Doctors perform the Triple Market Screening between 15th-20th weeks of pregnancy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), AFP levels are crucial because they help to detect risk for ~85% of neural tube defects.
Low levels of AFP and E3 along with elevated hCG levels suggest an increased risk for Down’s syndrome. Alternatively, low levels of all three indicate risk of Edward’s syndrome (Trisomy 13). Edward’s syndrome or Patau syndrome is detectable with the Ultrasound and Triple Marker Screening between 15th and 20th weeks.
C. Quadruple marker screening
Markers: AFP, hCG, E3, and Inhibin A
Because there are four important markers to identify the risks of Down’s syndrome its name is Quadruple Marker Screening. This test is recommended between the 15th-20th weeks of pregnancy because, it includes analysis of an additional marker; inhibin A, which improves the accuracy of populating risk of Down’s syndrome.
Why recommend or sign-up for serum marker test?
- It is an early screening test to perform during the first and second trimester of pregnancy because it detects the Down’s syndrome in the fetus.
- Serum markers along with USG report outcome and carrying woman’s age becomes an efficient risk calculator for Down’s syndrome. Neural Tube Defects and Edward’s syndrome.
- Easy and safe sample collection: Only 3 to 5 ml serum from a pregnant lady is necessary for screening.
- Gifts the pregnant couple time to take appropriate confirmatory tests and obstetric decisions in case of a high-risk report.
- Reduces pregnancy-related complications.
- Safe for both mother and fetus.
- Results are available within 2 to 3 days.
A simple serum screening would ensure the parent-to-be checks for any condition that may affect their unborn. So, every Pregnant woman should go for an antenatal serum market test for a safe and healthy pregnancy because it is so important to know the health of the unborn baby and prepare for a healthy pregnancy.
Serum marker test – Every mother’s key to watch over the growth of her little being!