Pregnancy Week 15 – Quad Screen

The Quad screen is a blood test mesasuring four different hormones from the baby into the mother’s blood.  This test is drawn between 15 and 20 weeks gestation.  It detects 80% of the babies with Down’s Syndrome and 90% of babies with neural tube defects.  This test has a 5% false positive meaning 5% of all people who have this test done will have a positive result.  A positive result does not mean there is something wrong with you baby, it simply means that we need to do additinal testing to determine the health of your baby.

The four hormones the test is measuring are –

AFPalpha fetoprotien is a protein produced by the fetus.

hCG -human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced within the placenta

Estriol – estriol is an estrogen produced by both the fetus and the placenta

Inhibin A – inhibin-A is a protein produced by the placenta and ovaries

The quad screen test  draws blood from the mother, which takes about 5 to 10 minutes. The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for testing. The results usually take a few days to receive.

The quad screen test, tests for 4 specific substances where as the AFP only looks at three.

There are no known risks to mother or fetus. There is some discomfort expected while drawing blood.

Information Provided by East Cooper Women’s Center and AmericanPregnancy.org