Maternal serum screening, or the multiple marker test, is a blood test for pregnant woman in the second trimester of pregnancy. The results can be used to determine the risk that the baby has a chromosome disorder or neural tube defect such as spina bifida.
Several substances in the blood are measured in the test, these substances include Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), Unconjugated estriol (uE3), and Inhibin A.
The test results are as follows:
If the levels of hCG and uE3 are normal, and AFP levels are high, then there is a high risk of getting open spina bifida.
If the levels of hCG and uE3 are low, and AFP levels are high, then there is a high risk of getting Anencephaly.
If the levels of hCG are high, the levels of uE3 and AFP are low, and the levels of Inhibin A are high, then there is a high risk of getting Down syndrome.
If the levels of hCG are low, the levels of uE3 are low, and the levels of AFP are Variable, then there is a high risk of getting Edwards syndrome.
It should be noticed that the test will not detect all cases of fetal abnormalities. Therefore, further tests such as high-resolution ultrasound are needed to determine and confirm a diagnosis.
Keywords: 4-marker Screen; AFP Maternal; Maternal Serum AFP; Maternal Serum Screen; Maternal Serum Screening; second Trimester; msAFP; Multiple Marker Test