DOUBLE MARKER TEST-WHEN,WHY AND HOW OF IT
- Every parent would like to have a physically and mentally healthy child, RIGHT?
- Ultrasound is a successful tool to ensure proper physical development of the baby in uterus.
- What about mental ability?
- Has science advanced to a level that we can ascertain the baby’s mental ability to a large extent
Yes, it has
- Only a family, having to live with a mentally handicap person, can tell the trauma it causes in the child’s as well as the caretakers lives.
- So, if possible, wouldn’t we want to avoid that?
- Yes , we would and now there are tests available to help us out
What is the basis of the test?
- The baby is very much part of mother’s body and so are its hormones
- An estimation of baby’s hormones are done at a specific duration of pregnancy-say 11-13 weeks
An ultrasound is also done to see two specific features in the developing baby- namely(1) presence of bone of nose(2) thickness of nape of neck
- Now, these values are statistically compared to those women who gave birth to normal children
If the values match with the normal population, a report of ‘low risk’ is issued and the test is declared as NORMAL
- So, what exactly a pregnant lady need to do?
- Undergo two things-An ultrasound and a blood test at a time suggested by your doctor
In rare cases the values don’t match and an ABNORMAL ‘high risk’ report comes
- These cases will now require further testing in a specialized genetic centers to confirm or refute the diagnosis
This screening test is now being recommended to all patients regardless of maternal age