Double marker test, Today We will discuss this important test
A double marker test is most important for your baby. to be done in the first trimester of pregnancy, the most important screening test of the first trimester,
Which is called as Dual (Double) marker test or Down syndrome screening?
What is a Double Marker Test?
This is a screening test which means, this test does not diagnose a problem. Only on the result of the blood test. But it is also combined with the mother’s age & USG parameters. Specifically NT I.e Nuchal translucency. Which means the thickness of the skin at the neck of the baby.
What is the Purpose of a Double (Dual) Marker?
This Dual marker test helps to detect 3 conditions and those are Trisomy 21 that is Down syndrome. Trisomy 18 that is Edward syndrome and Trisomy 13 that is Patau syndrome.
What Is Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)?
Down syndrome is a condition in which there is a delay in the physical growth of the child. Distinct facial appearances, vision disorders, and most important intellectual delays.
- The babyface like Mongolian: The baby’s face resembles the Mongolian race.
- Hands are short & broad: The hands are short and broad.
- Risk of Heart Diseases: There is an increased association of congenital heart diseases in such babies.
- Life is reduced: Also the expectation of life I reduced.
Down syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality that cannot be treated. And in this child suffers from mental retardation, along with few physical disabilities.
What is Edward & Patau Syndrome?
Edward syndrome is a condition in which there are heart defects, low birth weight, abnormal shape head, small jaw, clenched hand, and mental disabilities in babies.
Patau syndrome represents the physical defects. Cleft palate, cleft lip, convex foot, extra fingers/toes, and mental disabilities too.
What Causes Down Syndrome?
Chromosomes are the parts of your cells. That contains your genes. Genes are parts of DNA, Pass down from your mother and father. They carry information that determines your unique traits such as eye color and height, People normally have 46 chromosomes. Which are divided into 23 pairs in each cell? In which one comes from your mother and another pair comes from your father.
The most common form of Down syndrome is Trisomy 21. In which an individual has 47 chromosomes in each cell instead of 46. This is caused by an error in cell division, which leaves an egg or sperm cell with an extra copy of chromosome 21 during conception. The Extra chromosome changes the way of body and brain development.
Why do you need a Down syndrome test?
Advancing maternal age have high chances of Down syndrome as the older eggs have greater risk of improper chromosome division. Mostly the pregnant women above 25 years of age should get this test done.
Risk of Down Syndrome is Higher
Also you may be at higher risk if you have already had a baby with Down syndrome or have family history of the disorder.
Double Marker Test Helps to
In addition, you can prepare yourself mentally and physically if the results show positive. Knowing in advance can give you time to plan for further health care, treatments, support services for your child and family.
When you should do a Double Marker Test?
This test should be done in between 11-14 weeks and if missed due to any reason then it can be done in between 16-22 weeks.
How Double (Dual) Marker Test is done?
In this test blood sample is taken to measure the levels of free Beta HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and PAPP-A (pregnancy-associated plasma protein) both are the hormones produced by the placenta. High levels of HCG and low levels of PAPP-A can be associated with Down syndrome along with the combining of USG parameters. Results are represented as screen positive, high risk, or screen negative.
What if the Double Marker Test is positive?
If the Dual marker test is positive then the further diagnostic test called “amniocentesis” is advised at 16 weeks to confirm the diagnosis.
Amniocentesis is an invasive procedure. In this procedure, local anesthesia is given to numb the surface of your abdomen. Then a thin needle is inserted into the mother’s uterus and a sample of amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus is withdrawn. The whole procedure is done under real-time sonographic control. Then the sample is used to analyze the chromosomes of the fetus.
Amniocentesis is used for diagnosis of chromosomal as well as genetic disorders like sex-linked disorders, karyotyping, neural tube defect, and inborn errors of metabolism. This test is performed in 2nd trimester usually between 15-18 weeks of pregnancy.
How can you prevent Down Syndrome during Pregnancy?
Generally, every woman is prescribed folic acid before and during pregnancy. Folic acid is a B Vitamin that helps your body produce & maintain new cells, it also helps to prevent changes in DNA and avoid birth defects. 400 mcg of folic acid every day at least a couple of months before and during pregnancy can help prevent major birth defects of the developing brain and spine-like neural tube defects, spina bifida, etc.
Where to do the Double Marker Test?
Usually, a double marker test is not done in all local labs, Find the best lab, and check your double marker test.
Please read this carefully
The only intention behind this article is to promote the right knowledge. The information given in this article is completely based on Ayurvedic literature. Please check with your healthcare professional before starting any advice, medicine, or programs. The information provided in this article is intended to be used under guided instruction at your own risk. Please don’t do anything beyond your physical and mental limitations. We, the presenters, or doctors are not responsible for any loss or damage related directly or indirectly to the information on this article and will not compensate in any way.
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