Prenatal Screening

Abby Lineberger

Prenatal Screening

The prenatal tests give you information about your health and your baby's Testing the maternal serum,amniotic fluid, or chronic villi to evaluate the developing fetus for congenital diseases such as Down syndrome or structural heart defect.

Prenatal Screening Test

Three different blood test that are offered as part of prenatal screening for birth defects.Total of 6 fetal proteins that can be tested. These test identify babies with Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18 and babies with a condition called neural tube defect (spina bifida) the spinal cord and brain does not form correctly early in the pregnancy.


You will already have one of these early in your pregnancy to make sure everything is going well. But if you have a high-risk pregnancy, you’ll need this exam more often. Around 11-14 weeks, doctors can use it to look at the back of your baby’s neck. Folds or thick skin there could mean a higher risk of Down syndrome.

3 Types of Blood Test

  1. Sequential integrated screen: measures all six fetal proteins found in the mother's blood. 1st blood test is performed between 10 and 13 weeks 6 days. 2nd blood screen performed 15 and 20 weeks. Nuchal Translucency ultrasound 11 weeks 2 days and 14 weeks 2 days this test identify approximately 92 percent with Down Syndrome.
  2. Serum integrated screen: A serum screen identifies 88 percent of babies with Down Syndrome is typically the choice in centers where nuchal translucency ultrasound is not available( this special 1st trimester ultrasound requires specific training).
  3. Quad marker screen: 2nd blood test of the sequential (and serum) integrated screen, performed 15 and 20 weeks. Measures 4 of the fetal proteins.
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Ask Questions if Your Doctor tells you need a prenatal testing

  • Why do I need these tests?
  • What will the results tell me? What will they not show?
  • What happens if I don't get the test?
  • What will I do with the results?
  • How accurate are the tests?
  • What are the risks?
  • How long will it take to get the results?
  • What does it feel like?
  • How much do they cost?

  • Will my insurance cover them?
  • Where do I get the tests done?