Maternal Serum Screening Overview

Maternal Serum Screening is a testing process that uses blood samples from the pregnant woman to determine her risk for specific conditions such as Down syndrome, Trisomy 18, or certain birth defects.

A variety of test options are available that provide patients with choices that meet her needs.

  • Some test options provide results in early pregnancy
  • Other test options are easily available as no preparation or special appointments are necessary
  • Some test options do involve special appointments but have better accuracy.

A "Screen Positive" result does not mean that there is an abnormality. It only means that there is an increased risk and further evaluation is indicated.

  • Including information such as ultrasound dating, maternal weight and history information provides more accurate risk assessment.
  • Screen positive results have been associated with an increased risk for maternal high risk pregnancy issues.
  • Most women with "Screen Positive" results will have normal, healthy babies

A screening test cannot identify 100% of cases; however it does provide additional information for the care provider to consider when interpreting other information such as ultrasound findings.


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