“A seasonal infection can cause a runny nose, while a silent infection in pregnancy can affect your newborn at worst”
What is TORCHS Test?
The TORCHS screening panel is an acronym that stands for a series of infections recommended for testing in a pregnant woman. These infections more than affecting the carrying woman, pose a serious risk for the unborn child. TORCH infections can cause birth defects in the child and this blood test involves detecting antibodies against active infection. TORCHS tests for;
T – Toxoplasmosis – A parasite – Risk for affecting the eyes, brain and spinal cord
O – Other infections – Hepatitis B, HIV, Syphilis, Parvovirus B19, etc.
R – Rubella – A viral infection – Popular as German measles
C – Cytomegalovirus – A viral infection – Risk for affecting vision, causing mental retardation, etc.
H – Herpes Simplex Virus – A viral infection – Risk of permanent damage to the brain and spinal cord
The “Screening and Management of TORCH in pregnancy” guidelines by FOGSI lists a 5-step management plan which includes;
- Suspecting infection in a pregnant lady
- Diagnosing the infection
- Timing the infection with relevance to gestation age (pregnancy term)
- Diagnosing TORCH in the unborn child
- Recommending a management plan
When Doctors Ask you to Undergo TORCHS Test ?
- Test is Recommended When the Risk of abnormalities like fetal hydrops, brain lesions, or USG markers of infection are noted.
- Pregnant woman shows the development of non-vesicular rash.
- When a pregnant woman has been known to be in contact with affected.
What can your TORCH report mean?
- Negative for both IgM and IgG indicates not exposed to any infection tested.
- IgM positive and IgG negative indicates primary or acute infection – Here there are chances of false positives due to cross-reactions and hence the history and repeat tests after 4 weeks is suggested to confirm a rise in IgG levels and fall in IgM, which is the ideal case scenario.
- IgM negative and IgG positive indicates past infection.
The Avidity Test times your infection well and is crucial in pregnancy. A low avidity would mean infection within 3 months, while a high avidity indicates infection before 3 months.
Thus, TORCHS is a very crucial test in pregnancy and should be recommended in time. A positive result needs appropriate therapeutic management which can prevent transmission to newborn.
TORCHS is indeed a beacon of light to detect possible infectious risks in your pregnancy!
Time your TORCHS Test well!