Understanding the Quadruple Marker Test in Pregnancy

The quadruple marker test, also known as quad marker screening, is a significant prenatal screening tool employed to detect potential birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities in the developing fetus.

Conducted typically between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy, this test serves as a non-invasive method to assess specific parameters in a pregnant woman’s blood. 


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quadruple marker test normal report


These parameters aid in the evaluation of potential risks associated with certain congenital anomalies. 

Indications for the Quadruple Marker Test

The quadruple marker test is recommended for:

1) Pregnant women aged 35 and above.

2) Women diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy.

3) Families with a history of Down syndrome.

4) Instances of viral infections during pregnancy.

5) Pregnant individuals experiencing side effects from medications. 

Parameters Evaluated in the Quadruple Marker Test

This screening evaluates various substances present in the maternal blood, providing valuable insights into potential risks:

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) – Elevated levels may signify neural tube defects or the likelihood of Down syndrome.

Unconjugated Estriol (UE) – Low levels may indicate a higher probability of Down syndrome.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) – Increased levels could suggest the presence of Down syndrome.

Inhibin A – Higher levels may point towards a potential risk of Down syndrome. 

Cost and Normal Ranges in Quadruple Marker Test Reports

The approximate cost of the quadruple marker blood test is around ₹2000, although prices may differ across various laboratories and cities. 

Quadruple Marker Test Normal Values

The normal ranges for the parameters in quadruple marker test reports include:

AFP – 10-150 ng/mL (between 15-18 weeks).

hCG – 13,300-254,000 mIU/mL (between 13-16 weeks) / 4,060-165,400 mIU/mL (between 17-24 weeks).

UE – Should be below 9.60 ng/mL during the second trimester.

Inhibin-A – Around 180 pg/mL at 15 weeks. 

Quadruple Marker Test Positive Means

A positive quadruple marker blood test report might indicate the presence of:

1) Down syndrome (Trisomy 21).

2) Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18).

3) Spina Bifida.

4) Abdominal wall defects. 

Implications of Abnormal Reports

Abnormal results in the quadruple marker test could imply potential birth defects or chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. 

In such cases, healthcare providers may recommend further diagnostic tests like ultrasound, parental cell DNA screening, or amniocentesis for a more accurate diagnosis. 

In some instances, termination of the pregnancy might be suggested after careful consideration and consultation with healthcare professionals.


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