What is Double Marker Test or Dual Marker Test in Pregnancy- Explained

Hello Readers How are you Do you want to know what is Double Marker Test? Whenever someone has completed their first trimester, they may wonder: Have you ever wondered what colour your baby’s hair will be? What will your children look like, will they look like your husband or not?

You may have had this kind of thought at some point in your mind but most of these things will remain a mystery for a while, that your OB-GYN may ask you to get some tests or tests done to give you more information about your growing baby. including the gender of your child.

Also commonly known as a diagnostic tool double marker test, let us tell you that it even involves giving blood to be analyzed for markers of certain chromosomal abnormalities.

Now the question coming to your mind is how and when the test is done, what will it screen for, and when you get the result what can you expect from it, let us explain it to you in detail. That is, What is the Double Marker Test?

What is the Double Marker Test?

Dear readers, let me tell you that the double marker test is also known as maternal serum screening, double marker test is part of a more comprehensive screening which you can call first-trimester screening. For your information, let me tell you that this is not a fixed exam. Instead, it is classified as a predictive test that you might call predictive screening, which simply means that its results report the possibility of chromosomal abnormalities.

This test specifically screens for blood levels of both free beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta-hCG) and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A).

Usually in a normal pregnancy, when a female fetus will have either 22 pairs of XX chromosomes or male embryos will have 22 pairs of XY chromosomes.

Here we are going to tell you that trisomy is a chromosomal condition in which there are extra chromosomes, we have given some examples below: Which are the following:

A Down syndrome: This common trisomy can also be called trisomy 21 because let us tell you that there is also an extra copy of chromosome 21 in it.
These include trisomy 18 and trisomy 13. These common chromosomal abnormalities include an extra copy of chromosome 18 (Edwards syndrome) or chromosome 13 (Patau syndrome).
There is also the possibility that hCG and PAPP-A levels are higher or lower than “normal” in pregnancies with either chromosomal abnormalities.

However, let us tell you that blood levels alone cannot give your results. Usually not doing so, a blood test can be used along with an ultrasound called a nuchal translucency (NT) scan, which can also examine the clear tissue at the back of the baby’s neck.


What is the right time for the double marker test?

There is a relatively thin time window during which the double marker test is performed. Typically, someone’s healthcare provider will ask to meet at the end of their first trimester, or possibly sometime before or even before the second trimester.

Or rather, more specifically, your blood may be drawn sometime between weeks 11 and 14.

How Is Double Marker Test Done

Usually, the first-trimester screening is not mandatory for you – the double marker test and NT scan. You may be at a higher risk of chromosomal issues.

It may be important for you to remember that the result only tells you whether there is an increased risk of trisomy. It does not in any way determine whether a child has any abnormality.

Generally, before going for the double marker test, you should decide for yourself whether you want a double marker test.

My dear readers, will your anxiety decrease or worsen after learning about possible abnormalities?

You have to think for yourself. Do you want to go for more aggressive testing? Even if you do get a result, dear readers, which indicates an increased risk?

Are you wondering if the results will change or how will you manage your pregnancy?

It’s usually everyone’s personal preference, and it’s all about your own health history, so all we can say is that there really is no right or wrong answer to your questions.


What to expect when the test is done

What is Double Marker Test (1)

Let us tell you that the double marker test is a simple blood test. Your doctor will give you an order to take you to the lab. And this is a non-fasting test, so let you know that you can eat or drink normally before your appointment, unless you are instructed otherwise, before the double marker test.

After that Labs can vary when it comes to your turnaround time. In general, it may take you from about 3 days to 7 days to get the results.

Cost of the double marker test

Let us tell you that what you pay for a double marker test will depend on the insurance coverage of the person who wants to have this test and the place where they live. Usually, this test is optional, the double marker test is subject to your health insurance policy. maybe covered under.

Call your insurance provider to find out if the double marker test is covered under your insurance coverage, whether you also need pre-authorization. If you do not have any kind of insurance, in which case you can call your hospital to find out the double marker test cost and possible payment plans.

Note that the double marker test is often done in conjunction with an NT scan, so it may be necessary for you to pay for both tests for the entire first-trimester screening.


Abnormal results for the double marker test

In general, if someone’s screening comes back as moderate- or high-risk (“screen-positive”) for abnormalities, one may choose to visit their results with a genetic counsellor to learn more.

His double marker test result is confirmed with more definitive and sometimes more invasive tests, such as non-invasive prenatal testing, amniocentesis, or chorionic villus sampling. While some of these tests, in general, may carry some risk to your pregnancy, they can provide a definitive result.

This is because the double marker test may be done early in your pregnancy, which is why this information can help you make important decisions about further testing, medical treatment, and the overall management of your pregnancy and delivery. gives.

In general, knowing your risk in this will also help more prepare you for the potential you will have with a child with special needs and will allow you to get the support you need.

READ ALSO: Vomiting Medicine During Pregnancy 2021

Are there any risks associated with the double marker test?

Dear Readers, we are happy to inform you that there are no risks associated with the double marker test. This is usually a routine non-invasive blood test. But you have to make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Standard results for the double marker test

Let us tell you that low-, medium- or high-risk results can be obtained.

A generally low risk (“screen-negative”) can be considered a “normal” result, and it also means that your baby may be less likely to have chromosomal abnormalities.

Let us tell you that if your result is in the normal range, you will be recommended for further testing only if there are other indicators (such as family history, age, etc.) or simply if there is any other reason. want to know more.

Keep in mind that a low-risk result may not always mean that your baby will have no problems in the future. And it will be important for you to note that the first-trimester screening only looks for markers for Down syndrome, trisomy 13 and trisomy 18 – not other conditions.

Double marker test vs. NT scan

For the most accurate results of the double marker test, you should use a double marker test and an NT scan together with ultrasound in your first-trimester screening. Will give the result of medium or high risk.

For your information, let us tell you that when the double marker is done without any test, an NT scan may be less effective in detecting abnormalities in that case.

Let us tell you that, in general, an NT scan (ultrasound) allows your healthcare provider to use sound waves to collect a real-time image of your baby. Note that this can be done around the same time as your double marker test.

You may be quite surprised that at that point in the pregnancy – towards the end of the first trimester – your healthcare provider can easily measure the size of the clear area at the back of your baby’s neck. And for that, the doctor can measure the development of the nasal bone. , which is another indicator of trisomy.

These measurements are usually combined with your blood results and age-related risk. All of these can be calculated to put your baby’s potential risk of Down syndrome, trisomy 13, or trisomy 18.

The takeaway

Still, if you are wondering whether to take the test or not? If you still don’t know what to do, you should compare the pros and cons of both the double marker test and the first-trimester screening. Then try asking yourself whether knowing this information can help you make decisions about further testing as well as the management of your pregnancy.

My dear friends Are sure to talk to your healthcare provider about this test, and its usefulness in light of your unique circumstances.

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