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Double marker test vs. Triple marker test

Double marker test vs. Triple marker test

What is the Triple Marker Test

It is a blood test done during pregnancy to check for potential genetic abnormalities in the baby. The triple marker test involves Triple screening, and it does not provide a diagnosis but predicts or indicates the presence of any genetic disorders.

In other words, the triple marker test is a prenatal test that examines chromosomal abnormalities in a baby. It is used for women who are between 15 and 20 weeks pregnant. This test is recommended to every pregnant woman and especially if their report says:

  • They have a family history of certain genetic conditions
  • Age 35 or more
  • Drugs with side effects 
  • Diabetic and insulin use 
  • High exposure to radiation

In this test, the levels of three essential substances are measured in the placenta:

  1. Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP): The fetus produces this protein. High levels of this protein can imply the possibility of defects like neural tube defects etc. 
  2. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG): Placenta produces this hormone, and its low levels can indicate potential threats to pregnancy, including the possibility of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. 
  3. Estriol: an estrogen that comes from both the fetus and placenta. Low estriol levels may imply a risk of having a baby with down syndrome, Especially when high levels of HCG and low levels of AFP also pair. 

Abnormal levels of these substances can also indicate Down syndrome or Edward’s syndrome. Down syndrome occurs when an extra copy of chromosome 21 is developed in the fetus. It can cause medical complications and, in a few cases, learning disabilities. On the other hand, Edward’s syndrome can cause huge medical complications that may become life-threatening in the first months and years after birth. 

Double marker test vs. Triple marker test

Do you know the difference between the double marker and triple marker tests? Here is the answer. 

  • In the double marker test, only two hormones are tested:
    • Free beta-HCG
    • PAAP – A
  • In the triple marker test, three hormones are tested, as discussed above:
    • Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) 
    • Unconjugated estriol 
    • beta-HCG

A double marker test is conducted between 10+6 and 12+6 weeks of pregnancy. If your doctor advises you, you may not even need to go for a triple marker after a double marker test.

Cost of Triple marker test

The triple marker test cost ranges between 1250 to 4000 INR. 

In conclusion, a Triple marker is a blood test like a double marker test. And you might need to take a triple marker test after a double marker test if your report shows certain conditions as mentioned above. For more information regarding pregnancy tests, visit us at Grace Laboratory

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