What Are Down Syndrome Screening Tests?

Q:
What are Down syndrome screening tests?

A:
Women aged 30 to 35 years or older may receive genetic screening during pregnancy because the risk of having a child with Down syndrome increases as women age.

Screening tests include:

  • Cell-free DNA: A blood test that analyzes fetal DNA found in the maternal blood.
  • Genetic ultrasound: At 18 to 20 weeks, a detailed ultrasound is combined with blood test results.
  • Nuchal translucency testing: At 11 to 14 weeks, an ultrasound can measure the clear space in folds of tissue behind the neck of a developing baby.
  • Integrated screen: This combines the results of first-trimester blood tests and screening tests, with or without nuchal translucency, with second-trimester quadruple screening results.
  • Triple screen or quadruple screen: At 15 to 18 weeks, this measures the quantities of various substances in the mother’s blood.

Screening is a cost-effective and less invasive way to determine if more invasive diagnostic tests are needed. However, unlike diagnostic tests, they cannot confirm whether Down syndrome is present. For more info you can go to a specialist.

Keyword: down syndrome screening

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.