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Double Marker Test

The Double Marker Test, also known as the Dual Marker Test, is a screening test performed in the early stages of pregnancy. It involves measuring the levels of two specific substances in the mother's blood: human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A). During pregnancy, the placenta produces the hormone HCG. It is used to confirm that a woman is pregnant and to keep track of how the baby is growing and developing. PAPP-A is a protein that is also produced by the placenta and the baby during pregnancy. The test involves taking a sample of the blood for further analysis.

The purpose of the double marker blood test is to assess the risk of chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, as well as other genetic conditions like Edward Syndrome and Patau syndrome, in the developing foetus. The test results are combined with the mother's age and other factors to estimate the likelihood of these conditions. Overall, the test helps in monitoring the growth and development of the foetus and providing important information about its well-being.

Significance of the Double Marker Test

The Double Marker Test in pregnancy helps to identify any chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus. This is particularly important for detecting neurological problems like Edwards syndrome or Down syndrome. It's crucial to know that the test results indicate a risk for certain genetic conditions like trisomies. Typically, female foetuses have 22 pairs of XX chromosomes, and males have 22 pairs of XY chromosomes. Trisomy is a chromosomal abnormality that occurs when there is an extra set of chromosomes. For example, having an extra copy of chromosome 21 leads to Down syndrome (trisomy 21). Other common abnormalities include having an extra copy of chromosome 18 (Edward's syndrome) or chromosome 13 (Patau's syndrome).

Doctors recommend pregnant women to undergo the Double Marker Test during pregnancy for several reasons:

1. Trisomy Detection: The test helps women determine if their unborn baby has trisomy of chromosome number 13, which can lead to mental disorders in young children.

2. Down Syndrome Detection: It also helps in identifying any irregularities in chromosome 21, which can result in Down Syndrome.

3. Risk Assessment Throughout Pregnancy: The Double Marker Test can determine whether a mother is at risk for chromosomal abnormalities at any stage of her pregnancy. This allows for early detection and monitoring of potential issues.

4. Informed Decision-Making: If the test results indicate a positive risk for chromosomal abnormalities, the couple is provided with enough time to understand their situation, consider their options, and make informed decisions about the future of the pregnancy.

Pregnant women who choose to take the Double Marker Test can gain vital knowledge about their unborn child's health and make well-informed choices for their family.

When is the Double Marker Test Prescribed?

The Double Marker Test, performed during pregnancy, is a screening blood test that typically takes place between the 11th and 13th week of pregnancy. It is often done in conjunction with an NT(Nuchal Translucency) scan. This test is safe and does not involve any invasive procedures. Its purpose is to provide pregnant women with information about the potential risks of chromosomal abnormalities in their unborn babies. It is important to note that the test does not provide a definitive diagnosis of abnormalities in the baby but rather identifies the risk of certain conditions. However, for women who are over 35 years old or have a higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities due to a family history of specific diseases, this screening test is recommended.


In the Double Marker Test during pregnancy, the normal values for hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) range from 25700-288000 mIU/ml for all age groups. For PAPP-A (pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A), the normal value is 1 MoM (multiple of median) for females across all age groups. These values serve as a reference to assess the risk of chromosomal abnormalities.

The test results are categorised as low, moderate, or high risk. A low-risk or screen-negative result is considered normal and indicates a low risk of chromosomal abnormalities. However, it's important to note that a low-risk result doesn't guarantee the absence of any abnormalities.

If the results show moderate or high risk, additional testing, such as NIPT (Non-invasive Prenatal Testing) might be recommended to confirm the condition.

Results + Next Steps

At Max Lab, a trusted and authorised diagnostic centre, one can online book an affordably priced double marker test and get it done in their nearest Max Lab. Moreover, there is also a service of at-home sample collection available where one can get the test done in the comforts of their home. Generally, the test results come within 3-4 days and then can be easily downloaded from the website. It is recommended to consult a doctor after getting the test results for a better diagnosis and treatment if needed.

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