Quad Screen Blood Test - Positive for NTD/Brain Damage
Due to my age (40), my doctor wanted to do an Amnio test and we elected not to because we were afraid of the miscarriage risk. So, the doctor then offered the Quad Screen test and we agreed to do that one. I had the Quad Screen blood test done on the 27th of October at 16 weeks and just got a phone call on Nov.4th and the nurse said the test was positive for NTD/Brain Damage. I asked what the ratio was and she said 1/25. They have set up an appointment for me to see a specialist for an ultrasound on the 20th of this month and then we also have the big ultrasound on the 24th with my regular doctor.
I know that the Quad Screen isn't as accurate as the Amnio but I'm extremely healthy and I wasn't expecting to get a reading like that (1/25). Needless to say, I'm very concerned about it. Has anyone had this kind of a result and what was the outcome?
Also, I don't understand why the doctor would send me 3 hours away for an ultrasound and then he himself do another one 4 days later? It seems like he should be able to detect the same things as the other doctor doesn't it?
I'm sorry to hear that you are having such concerns, but remember that the odds are in your favor... chances are 96% that the baby does NOT have an NTD. I have known many people to have increased NTD risk by quadscreen during pregnancy that have absolutely healthy babies. Quadscreen simply estimates risk, and an increased amount of AFP (alpha-feto protein) in your blood is usually what raises concern for NTDs because it is seen more frequently in pregnancies with NTDs. However, increase NTD risk can be caused by elevations of AFP from other factors besides an actual birth defect. Hi AFPs can be caused by placental issues, or sometimes for no known reason at all.
Although some birth defects are not well diagnosed by ultrasound, the good news is level II sonography has a good detection rate for NTDs, usually better than 95%. Your doctor is probably sending you to specialists known as perinatologists (and perhaps genetic counselors) to have a high-resolution ultrasound with experienced eyes that are especially trained to identify NTDs. Hopefully your 3 hour travel will be a reassurance that there is no NTD. (And, it's not unusual for doctors to follow ladies with high AFPs a little more closely to make sure placenta isn't causing problems, so maybe that's why the repeat ultrasound in your doctor's office, so he can keep on top of any changes.)
Hope that helps, and best wishes for a good outcome.~eureka
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