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New Down syndrome screening protocol encouraged. (News).

British researchers are urging that prenatal screening for Down syndrome be based on maternal age and four markers in the mother's blood. In a study published in the March 6 issue of the British medical journal Lancet, Dr. Nicholas Wald and colleagues from St. Bartholomew's and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry assessed prenatal serum screening for Down syndrome with the quadruple test among 46,193 pregnancies in 14 hospitals over a five-year period. The quadruple test calculates the risk of a Down syndrome term pregnancy based on the maternal age and concentration of four markers in maternal serum--alpha-fetoprotein, unconjugated estriol, human chorionic gonadotropin and inhibin-A--at weeks 14 to 22 of the pregnancy. In the study, the quadruple screen detected Down syndrome in 81 percent of 88 pregnancies. The authors concluded that the quadruple test is a better method of screening for Down syndrome than the use of maternal age alone (51 percent det ection rate) and is more effective than other second trimester screening tests, and urged that the quadruple test be the test of choice in second trimester Down screening.
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Title Annotation:St. Bartholomew's and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 1, 2003
Words:183
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