What is the Double Marker Test?
A double marker test is one of the tests for pregnancy, often recommended for the detection of any abnormalities. This is one useful pregnancy screening test to determine the healthy development of the foetus. The test helps pregnant women to determine any chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus. It checks for free Beta HCG, which stands for human chorionic gonadotropin and PAPP-A, which stands for pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A.
The test also makes sure to check for any neurological disorder in the foetus. This plays a vital role in the double marker test. This test can also detect neurological conditions such as Edward’s syndrome or Down’s syndrome. This test is done to identify if a foetus has any chromosomal abnormalities which can significantly affect the child’s development when born.
This could also lead to multiple health problems during childbirth, which happens in some rare cases. The double marker test is usually recommended to women above 35 years of age and also to women with a family history of birth defects and type 1 diabetes mellitus.
How does one Prepare for the Double Marker Test?
There are no special requirements for this test. One has to take a simple blood test that does not require any preparation.
What are the Uses of a Double Marker Test?
There are multiple uses of double marker tests. Some of them are listed as follows:
- It gives the doctors an idea if the foetus is at risk of any physical ailments.
- It gives the doctors a chase to assess whether the child is at risk of any mental issues.
- It is the primary detector of Down syndrome.
- It is also a detector of Trisomy 18, which can result in mental retardation and also several birth defects
- It can also detect Trisomy 21, which causes mental disorders, heart disorders, and other health issues relating to vital organs.
What is the Test Procedure for a Double Marker Test?
A double marker test usually begins with an ultrasound examination. A simple blood test accompanies this to check for two markers in the pregnant woman:
- The first marker is Free Beta hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a glycoprotein hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy. When the levels are high, there is a risk of Trisomy 18, leading to Down syndrome.
- The second marker is PAPP-A (pregnancy-associated plasma protein A), a plasma protein. When the levels of this plasma protein are low, this could lead to Down syndrome.
What is the Cost of a Double Marker Test?
The test cost depends on multiple factors such as city, hospital, quality, and availability. The double marker test can cost between 2,500 to 3,500 INR.