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Triple Marker Test: Procedure, Cost, Results, Pregnancy, More

To learn whether any genetic disorders are present in a newborn, the triple marker test in combination with an ultrasound and amniocentesis could aid in early detection.


3 min read
Triple Marker Test: Procedure, Cost, Results, Pregnancy, More


Why Should You Consider Doing A Triple Test?

To learn whether any genetic disorders are present in a newborn, the triple marker test in combination with an ultrasound and amniocentesis could aid in early detection. It is a screening test that assesses for any conditions of Down Syndrome or Trisomy 18. This test results in the detection of about 70% of genetic defectiveness in fetuses.  It also helps in identifying pregnancy complications and twin births.

When Do You Get The Triple Test in Pregnancy?

The triple marker test in pregnancy is most effective between weeks 16 and 18 after the first day of your last period. This duration accounts for the highest detection rate. The test can also be performed on any day falling 15 to 21.9 weeks after the initial day of your last period cycle.

What Preparation Is Involved For A Triple Marker Screen Test?

The triple test in pregnancy is a risk-free test. This test does not require any special eating, drinking, or other preparation by women prior to the procedure hour.

What Are The Benefits Of A Triple Marker Screen Test?

The triple marker test in pregnancy is a useful test for women to know beforehand any chances of complications during childbirth. It helps your doctors prepare better and also identifies potential multiple fetuses.  The test is essential in determining the chances of genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and Edwards’ Syndrome (Trisomy 18).

What Are The Results Of A Triple Marker Screen Test?

The triple marker test is merely an indicator of possible chances or an estimate of these genetic disorders. The test is also used to identify and detect multiple birth possibilities. It is an indicator of whether further and deeper testing is required or not.

If the test result turns out positive, the doctor advises further tests of amniocentesis and ultrasound for a detailed probe. The test results may or may not turn out correctly.

The test is affected by certain factors, such as:

  • The bodyweight of the mother
  • The age of the mother and the week of pregnancy duration
  • Disorders such as diabetes

If the test turns out to indicate higher amounts of Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), you will be asked to undergo an amniocentesis test. It involves obtaining a sample of the amniotic fluid from the pregnant woman’s uterus.

The AFP count obtained from the amniocentesis result is taken into consideration. If the count is still low, you will be asked for a detailed ultrasound testing of the uterus. This test gives the gynaecologist an indication of any genetic defects through fetal spine and skull examination. Ultrasound also indicates the presence of multiple fetuses and their age.

Triple Marker Test Normal Values?

As mentioned before, if the triple marker test shows higher values of AFP, it indicates a possibility of neural defects. The normal values of AFP observed among women in the age group under 35 years range from 1.38 to 187.00 IU/ml. Further, research suggests that the values of hCGß range from 1.06 to 315 ng/ml.

For uE3, the normal amount ranges from 0.25 to 28.5. The age group of women observed was 18 to 47 years, weighing 57 kgs with a flexible variable of 9.8 kgs.

Triple Marker Test Cost?

The estimated cost of the triple marker test varies between INR 1250 and 4200.

Is Triple Marker Test Necessary After a Double Marker Test?

There is no mandatory requirement to go for a triple marker test after the double marker. If the doctor advises no need for a triple marker test after your double test in pregnancy, you do not need to go for the triple marker test.

Difference Between Double Marker And Triple Marker Test

The double marker test in pregnancy is different from the triple marker test in terms of the number of hormones tested.

The double marker test indicates the details of the Free beta hCG and PAPP-A hormones. It is  generally done in the weeks 10+6 to 12+6 of pregnancy. Triple marker test is used to obtain serum levels of the three hormones - AFP, Beta hCG, and Unconjugated estriol. This test is done during weeks 15 to 18 of the pregnancy. It is primarily used to detect the possibility of Down Syndrome in the unborn child.

References

Gurjit Kaur, Jyoti Srivastav (2013) Maternal serum median levels of alpha-foetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin & unconjugated estriol in second trimester in pregnant women from north-west India (Indian Journal of Medical Research) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3767258/

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