Triple Screening Test

One of the biggest fears of a pregnant woman, especially a woman who becomes pregnant at a late age, is that her baby will be born with one of the abnormalities such as Down syndrome, Edward's syndrome or neuropathic diseases. Thanks to the developing medicine and rapidly advancing technology, possible problems can be detected in advance even when the baby is in the womb. Now what is triple screening test? When and how is it done? We will seek answers to questions such as…

Prof. Dr. Ulun ULUĞ
Written by Prof. Dr. Ulun ULUĞ. 0 comments 4963 views

What is triple test?

The triple test (Triple test) is a blood test recommended for all expectant mothers between the 16th and 18th weeks of pregnancy. In the blood sample taken from the expectant mother, 3 different hormone measurements are made. This hormone measurement is processed by entering a special computer program along with variables such as the mother's age, weight, whether she smokes or not, and the week of pregnancy. It is the screening of anomalies called “Neural tube defects”, especially with chromosomal disorders such as Tizomy 21 (Down syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) belonging to the baby during pregnancy. As with the double test, the triple test is a screening test that screens the risky group.

Substances detected in the blood: Alpha-feto protein (AFP), Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and Estriol (E3).

  1. AFP is a protein produced by infant liver. It gradually rises in the mother's blood during pregnancy.
  2. hCG is a hormone produced in the placenta. It begins to rise from the early stages of pregnancy.
  3. E3 is a hormone produced by both the baby and the placenta.

The level of these tests varies according to the weeks of pregnancy.

When is the triple screening test done?

The triple test is for all expectant mothers 16.-18. It is a recommended blood test between weeks of pregnancy. However, in cases of necessity, it can also be done in the 15th and 22nd weeks.

Situations where it is particularly recommended

The triple screening test recommended for all pregnant women is recommended in the following cases:

– Those with a family history of birth defects

- Age 35 and over

– Those who used harmful drugs or pills during pregnancy

- Those with insulin or diabetes

– Those who have had a viral infection during pregnancy

- Those with a family history of congenital defects

– Those who have a child with a birth defect

What is the triple screening test success rate?

The most important point to remember is that the triple test does not diagnose, it only scans. Not all pregnancies carrying a baby with Down syndrome can be identified with the triple screening test, but up to 70% of them can be identified. In approximately one-third of pregnancies carrying a baby with Down syndrome, the triple test result does not come as high-risk, but comes normal. Due to this low detection success, it is not recommended to use the triple test alone. It is worth mentioning; The definitive diagnosis of down syndrome is made by examining the chromosomes of fetal cells obtained by amniocentesis.

Since amniocentesis cannot be applied to every expectant mother, it is necessary to know to whom it will be applied. The triple test helps to differentiate this.

The most important factor limiting the accuracy of the triple test is the wrong evaluation of the gestational week of the baby, not taking into account the weight and ignoring the multiple pregnancy cases. When determining the gestational week, the last menstrual period specified by the expectant mother must be confirmed by ultrasound.

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