Do you know about the quadruple marker test? Do you know the purpose of the quad screen? Do you know the quadruple marker test cost? Well, in today’s blog, we’ll discuss quad screen and much more about it. Let’s get started:
What Does Quadruple Marker Test Mean?
The quad screen is also referred to as quadruple marker test, which is a prenatal test that evaluates the levels of four substances in pregnant ladies’ blood:
- Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a protein that is made by a growing baby.
- Estriol, a hormone that is made by the placenta and the baby’s liver
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), this hormone is made by the placenta.
- Inhibin A, a hormone that is made by the placenta.
Generally, the quad screen is performed between weeks 15 and 18 of pregnancy, during the second trimester.
Purpose of Quad Screen
The quad screen is done to measure whether a pregnant woman has any chance of being affected with conditions, such as neural tube defects or Down syndrome. If there is low risk, the quad screen may offer reassurance that there is a low risk for neural tube defects, trisomy 18, Down syndrome, and abdominal wall defects.
Quadruple Marker Test is performed to measure the chance of developing a baby who has any of the following conditions:
- Down syndrome
Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition that can cause lifelong intellectual disability and delay in growth and in some people, it can cause health problems.
- Trisomy 18
This is a chromosomal disease that can cause developmental delays and deformities in the body’s structure. Trisomy 18 is deadly by age 1.
- Abdominal wall defects
In these birth defects, the baby’s other abdominal organs stick via the belly button.
- Spina bifida
It is a birth defect that happens when a part of a neural tube fails to grow or close completely, causing defects in the spinal cord and the spine’s bones.
The quad screen is the most common screening used in the second trimester. It was used if prenatal care started during the second trimester or if it is first-trimester screening that includes a blood test and an ultrasound test was not available. Your health care expert may combine the outcomes of first-trimester screening with the quad marker test to detect Down syndrome easily.
In place of quad screening, your health care provider may recommend prenatal cell-free DNA screening. So, it is advisable to talk to your health care provider regarding your screening. If the quad screen test is negative, it doesn’t mean your baby won’t have the single-gene disorder, chromosomal abnormality, or certain birth defects.
If we talk about quadruple marker test normal values, then they might be changed among different laboratories. So, it is advisable to talk to your health care provider to know the meaning of your test results.
What if quadruple marker test results are normal?
If AFP, hCG, Inhibin-A, and estriol levels are normal that means you have a healthy baby and healthy pregnancy. In more than 98% of pregnancies, the quad screen tests predict healthy babies and birth without any complications. However, no prenatal test can assure your baby is fully healthy or without complications.
What if quadruple marker test results are not normal?
In fact, if your quad screen test is not normal, then it is not guaranteed that you’ll have complications in your pregnancy. The quad screen just acts as a screening tool that means it can assess if there is any risk of having a baby with birth defects.
Is the quadruple marker test safe?
Many times, pregnant women question whether this test is safe or not, well, it is completely safe. Many families are concerned about birth defects, that’s why they prefer quad screen tests. It is just a test, and blood is taken from pregnant women. If you are looking for a quadruple marker test cost, then it may vary from one region to another. Basically, it ranges from Rs.1800-Rs.3000 in India.
When should you get a quad screen test?
According to experts, you should go for a quad screen test between 15 and 22 weeks of your pregnancy. The test can be done during this timeframe, but it is ideally done between 16 and 18 weeks of pregnancy. Otherwise, you can talk to your doctor as well.
Should I need to have a quad screen test?
It is advisable that all pregnant ladies must have a quad screen test, but it is up to you whether you want to have the test or not. However, if you have the following considerations, then you should opt for this test:
- You may have had a child with a previous birth disorder.
- Family history of birth disorders.
- You have type 1 diabetes previous to your pregnancy.
- Your age is 35 or more when the baby is due.
The purpose of this blog is to provide you the complete information regarding the quad screen. From this blog, you’ll know when you should go for this test and whether it is safe or not. However, all pregnant women should seek help from their healthcare provider.