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Double Marker Test

The Double Marker Test, also known as Maternal Serum Screening, is a non-invasive blood test performed during the first trimester of pregnancy to assess the risk of certain chromosomal abnormalities in the developing fetus. While not diagnostic, it offers valuable information to expecting parents and medical professionals. What does the Double Marker Test measure? This test measures the levels of two proteins in your blood:
  • Free beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG): A hormone produced by the placenta.
  • Pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A): A protein produced by the fetus and placenta.
What does the test tell us? The levels of these proteins can indicate an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18), and Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13). However, it’s important to remember that:
  • The test does not diagnose these conditions. It only estimates the risk based on protein levels.
  • Several factors can influence protein levels, such as gestational age, maternal weight, and multiple pregnancies.
  • A high-risk result does not necessarily mean your baby has a chromosomal abnormality. It only suggests further testing might be helpful.
Who should consider the Double Marker Test? The test is often recommended for:
  • Women aged 35 or older at the time of delivery.
  • Women with a personal or family history of chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Women who have concerns about their pregnancy.
When is the test performed? The Double Marker Test is typically done between 10 and 13 weeks of pregnancy. What happens after the test? Based on the results, your doctor may:
  • Reassure you if the risk is low.
  • Recommend further testing, such as an invasive procedure like amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) for a definitive diagnosis.
  • Offer genetic counseling to discuss your options and potential outcomes.
Important Notes:
  • The Double Marker Test is usually combined with a nuchal translucency (NT) scan, an ultrasound that measures fluid buildup behind the baby’s neck, for a more comprehensive risk assessment.
  • This test is optional and should be discussed with your doctor to understand its limitations and benefits in the context of your individual pregnancy.
Remember, every pregnancy is unique. Consulting with us for healthcare related personalized advice and we will navigate prenatal care decisions of parental journey .