Quad screen

Quad Screen Test Preparation & Effects

Quad test is a prenatal test. It is quadruple marker test that is done during the second trimester. This particular test is used to measure the below four substances in the blood of a pregnant woman:
  • Alpha-fetoproteinThis is the protein of a developing baby

  • Inhibin A: It is a hormone that is made because of the placenta

  • EstorilIt is the hormone that is made by a combination of the placenta and the liver of the baby

  • Human chorionic gonadotropin: It is another hormone that is made by the placenta.

As we have already mentioned, this is a sort of test that is done between the week 15 and 18 of the pregnancy. However, there have been cases where this particular test is done in week 20 as well. 

Why has Quad test done?

The quad test is done to find out about the presence of the following condition:
  • Down syndrome: it is a chromosomal disorder that causes developmental delays and life-long psychological disorder and other health problems as well. 

  • Trisomy 18: If you go by the symptoms and the thing that it causes, it is similar to down-syndrome. However, it is a fatal condition and it is fatal by the age of 1.

  • Spina Bifida: It is a birth defect of a serious nature. This sort of disorder happens when the neural tubes are not able to close up in a proper manner. This ends up causing issues with the spinal cord and the spinal bones. 

  • Anencephaly: It is a serious birth defect which is similar to spinal filda. That is, the neural tubes are not able to close properly here as well. However, it ends up causing the brain to underdevelop and the skull development is also incomplete because of that.

Preparation for the test

Before the test:
  • Talk to a genetic counsellor

  • Make sure that you have eaten normally that day.

During the test
During these tests, the doctors are just going to take our blood and send it for testing in the labs. You are going to receive the results for it either that day only or the next day. 

What are the factors that can affect the results of the test?

The test is pretty relevant. However it is not foolproof, there are certain instances which affects the results of these tests:
  • How long you have been pregnant is also an issue.

  • The race of the mother

  • The weight of the mother

  • If there is a case of multiple pregnancies

  • If the mother is diabetic

  • If the child is going to be born through IVF

  • If the mother is a smoker during pregnancy.


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Dr. Madhu Goel

Senior Gynecologist and a Senior Consultant

Dr. Madhu Goel is a well renowned senior gynaecologist and a senior consultant at Fortis La femme, New Delhi. She runs a private consultation in Goel’s surgery and Gynea centre and prior to being associated with Fortis; she was a consultant a Rockland Hospital.