NT Scan and Double Marker Test: NT Scan vs. Double Marker Test

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NT Scan and Double Marker Test

During the starting stage of your pregnancy, you get excited about your unborn baby. On the other hand, you also get nervous about the health of your baby, isn’t it? Well, for this reason, there are various tests that are conducted by your doctor to know the health of your baby.

And, most often, you start asking people what tests need to be done during pregnancy. Holding a baby in your womb for nine months is very difficult, and the most difficult situation is to know if your baby is not healthy. But, with the help of tests, you can follow some safety precautions recommended by your doctor. Now, in this blog, you’ll learn the meaning of NT scan and double marker test. In this way, you’ll know the purpose of each test. Despite this, you’ll also come to know the difference between NT scan and double marker test. Let’s get started:

NT Scan and Double Marker Test

What is NT Scan?

Basically, an NT scan is conducted during the first trimester of pregnancy. NT scan stands for nuchal translucency (NT) scan that helps in screening your baby for the risk of chromosome abnormalities. Basically, this test can be done between week 11 and 13 of your pregnancy.

Purpose of Nuchal Translucency (NT) Scan

During the first trimester of pregnancy, an NT scan is done. The size of the clear tissue can be measured by this test, which is called nuchal translucency, behind your baby’s neck. If the fetus is having fluid or clear space behind the neck of your baby, then it is not unusual.  Having too much space can be an indication of the high syndrome.  Or, it might manifest other chromosome abnormalities like Edwards syndrome or Patau syndrome.

When is NT Scan Done?

The NT scan must be done during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is because clear space at the back of the baby’s neck may disappear by week 15. This test also measures the level of plasma protein, a maternal hormone, and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). The abnormal level may indicate some chromosome problems.

How to Prepare for NT Scan?

For NT scan, there is no special preparation required. Most often, a scan is done within 30 minutes. You need to lie down on the table, and the technician will move an ultrasound wand over your tummy.

The pictures of ultrasound may be easier to read, especially, if you have a full bladder. Therefore, your doctor may ask you to drink plenty of water one hour before an appointment. Ensure to wear comfortable clothes because your doctor needs to have access to your lower abdomen.

Now, in the section NT scan and double marker test, it’s time to discuss double marker test:

What is the Double Marker Test?

Basically, the double marker test is for pregnant ladies to identify any chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus. This test is beneficial in identifying neurological conditions in the fetus. Chromosomal abnormalities can lead to the development of malformation and health issues in the child after birth. NT Scan and double marker test both are important for pregnant women.

Purpose of Double Marker Test

If you are over the age of 35, then you will be suggested to have a double marker test. But keep one thing in your mind that this test will not clearly tell you whether your baby has any abnormalities or not. It will only tell the risk of chromosome abnormalities.

The Procedure of Double Marker Test

Double marker test includes a simple blood test. The double marker test is a non-fasting test, which means you can eat or drink normally. But make sure to ask your doctor first. Mostly, you’ll receive your reports within 3 days or a week.

Difference between NT Scan and Double Marker Test

Many people want to know the difference between NT scan and double marker test. Well, both are inter-related, but some people opt for one test. To know, what the exact difference between NT scan and double marker test, read this section:

Double Marker Test: It is a simple blood test in which two chemical elements are measured in the blood of the mother.

NT Scan: It is a type of ultrasound scan in which a doctor moves an ultrasound wand over your paunch.

Well, for better and accurate results, both tests NT scan and double marker tests are performed during the first trimester. Both tests show the information in the form of low, moderate, and high risk of abnormalities.

With the help of an NT scan, your healthcare provider will get real-time pictures of your baby. NT scan is performed at the time as your double marker test.

Despite this, your healthcare provider will also measure the size of the clear area behind the neck of your baby. And, he/she will also check out the growth of nasal bone that can indicate a trisomy.

The result of the NT scan and double marker test will be merged together. They will provide your baby’s possible risk of trisomy 13, trisomy 18, or Down syndrome.

It’s Up to You!

Now, you have an idea of what is good for you and what is not. Plus, you also know the difference between NT scan and double marker test. Now, whether you want to opt for an NT scan and double marker test or not, it will over to you. Make sure to read the purpose of both NT scan and double marker test before taking any decision.

Despite this, get a consultation from your healthcare provider about these tests. Regardless of what you decide, contact your doctor and get a consultation.

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