The Quadruple Marker test is a very important test for pregnant women. Ob-Gyn specialists recommend the Quadruple Marker test to get more information about the nature of the pregnancy. The test is done in the second trimester to screen the foetus for possible developmental problems that it might face. The test usually screens for issues in neural and brain development. All these problems could have a major impact on the health of the child.
Therefore, it is important to screen the foetus for the markers so that the parents and doctor are informed. The Quadruple Marker test is called so because it screens for four factors in the blood of the mother. The Quad Marker test is a simple blood test that the doctor might suggest between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy.
When does the doctor recommend the Quadruple Marker test?
Usually, a Quadruple marker test is recommended for all expecting mothers. However, certain conditions make the Quadruple marker test a necessity. The conditions where the doctor will suggest the Quad marker test are as follows-
- If the woman is 35 years or older– In the case of pregnancy for an older woman, the risk of genetic disorders and developmental problems is more common in the foetus. Therefore, if the expecting mother is 35 years of age or above, the Quad Marker test is needed.
- Family history– If the family has a history of congenital disabilities and developmental problems that might come through as birth defects, the unborn baby should also be screened for the same. Here, the Quad marker test is important.
- Diabetic mother– if the mother is diabetic and uses insulin frequently, the doctor suggests the Quad Marker test during the second trimester.
What are the factors for which the Quad Marker test screens?
The Quad Marker test considers four factors in the blood of the mother. The process of the test is very simple because the lab professional collects a small amount of blood from the mother and sends it for laboratory evaluation. The four markers for which the test screens are as follows-
- Alpha Fetoprotein– Alpha-fetoprotein is produced by the liver of the baby. High levels of the compound or lower levels of the compound mean changes in neural development.
- Unconjugated estriol– The baby and the placenta produce the UE compound. Tests are done to see if the UE compound is lower in quantity in the blood. If the foetus produces a low quantity of UE, it can indicate the development of Down’s syndrome.
- Human chorionic gonadotropin- The HcG is a hormone that the placenta secretes during pregnancy. A higher concentration of HCG shows that the baby has a risk of Down’s syndrome.
- Inhibin A- The Inhibin A marker is produced by the ovaries of the mother. Higher than normal levels of Inhibin A shows that the baby might have a chance of Down’s syndrome at birth.
If the Quadruple Marker test comes up with normal results for all four markers, it indicates the unborn baby is healthy and will be born without any neural or physical defects. The Quad Marker test is a way of being sure that the future of your baby is safe and healthy.
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