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Quad Test

What is the Quadruple Marker Test?

The quadruple or the quad marker test in pregnancy is a crucial prenatal screening procedure that plays a significant role in assessing the health and development of a fetus. This test is typically performed during the second trimester, around the 15th to 20th week of pregnancy. The primary purpose of the quadruple test in pregnancy is to detect potential chromosomal abnormalities and neural tube defects in the developing baby.

The test is called a “quadruple test” as it measures 4 specific substances in the mother’s blood during pregnancy. Abnormal levels of these four substances can indicate certain disorders that the fetus may be at risk of developing. These four substances or markers are:

· Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP):

AFP is a protein produced by the fetal liver. Elevated levels may indicate a neural tube defect like spina bifida or an open abdominal wall defect, such as gastroschisis.

· Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG):

Abnormal levels of hCG can be indicative of chromosomal abnormalities, including Down syndrome (Trisomy 21)

· Unconjugated Estriol (uE3):

Low uE3 levels may suggest an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities like Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) or Down syndrome (Trisomy 21).

· Inhibin-A:

Elevated Inhibin-A levels can be associated with an increased risk of Down syndrome.

The test itself is relatively simple and involves a blood draw from the mother. This blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Apart from the analysis, the results are drawn on the basis of certain other factors such as age, ethnic background, weight etc.. It is essential to perform the quad marker test within the specific timeframe during the second trimester to ensure the accuracy of the results.

It is important to remember that while the quadruple test assesses certain conditions in one’s pregnancy, it does not provide a definitive diagnosis but only a likelihood of those conditions occurring in the fetus. It gives crucial information about the baby's health and allows for early intervention or additional testing if necessary.

Significance of the Quadruple Marker Test

The quad marker test in pregnancy is a valuable tool for expectant mothers and healthcare providers. While it cannot provide definitive answers, it serves as an essential step in the comprehensive prenatal care of both the mother and the developing fetus.

The quadruple test in pregnancy is specifically prescribed to:

· Assess Risk for Chromosomal Abnormalities:

One of the key reasons to prescribe the quadruple screen test during pregnancy is to evaluate the risk of chromosomal abnormalities in the developing fetus, such as Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18), and neural tube defects. By measuring specific markers in the mother's blood, it can help identify pregnancies at higher risk for these conditions.

· Detect Neural Tube Defects:

The quad marker test can also help detect neural tube defects like spina bifida and open abdominal wall defects such as gastroschisis. Elevated levels of Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) can indicate the presence of these abnormalities.

· Monitor Pregnancy Health:

Additionally, the quad marker test can be used to assess the overall health of the pregnancy. Abnormal levels of the markers may signal other underlying issues that require attention.

· Decide the Further Course of Action:

The results of this test can offer expectant parents and doctors valuable information about the health of their developing baby. This information can help them in deciding further course of action such as diagnostic tests, potential treatments, or other preparations.

When is the Quadruple Marker Test Prescribed?

The quadruple marker test in pregnancy is typically prescribed to pregnant individuals during the second trimester of pregnancy. Specifically, it is usually conducted between the 15th and 20th weeks of gestation. This timing is chosen because it allows for the most accurate assessment of certain substances in the mother's blood, which are used to screen for chromosomal abnormalities and neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Healthcare providers recommend this test as part of routine prenatal care for expectant mothers.

It is recommended that all women in their pregnancy should undergo the quad marker test. This is especially true for expectant mothers who have certain risk factors such as:

· A family history of birth defects

· Are 35 years of age or older,

· Been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes

· Have had viral infection during their pregnancy

· Have been exposed to high levels of radiation

· Have had a child with a previous birth defect

· Have consumed any strong medication.

When one is prescribed a quad test, rather than searching for “quadruple marker test near me”, it is best to go to a NABL accredited lab centre like Max Lab to book the quadruple marker test at the best price. Often times, there are other tests which are prescribed along with the quadruple test in one’s pregnancy. At a transparent cost, Max Lab has state of the art technology and facilities to deliver the most accurate results.


In the quadruple screen test during pregnancy, there are specific reference ranges for each of the four markers being measured. Normal ranges can vary depending on factors such as age, weight, past history and the gestational age of the baby. Abnormal results of the quad marker test in pregnancy may suggest a higher risk of neural tube defects or chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome or Trisomy 18.

Keep in mind that a positive result in the quadruple marker test does not necessarily mean the presence of a birth defect or genetic condition but rather indicates an increased risk that could require further tests and investigation.

Result + Next Steps

After the collection of the blood sample, it usually takes about 3-4 days for the test result to come. It is important to remember that the quadruple test, although important, does not provide any final diagnosis of any abnormalities or birth defects in the baby. Whether the results of the quadruple test fall in the normal or abnormal range, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional who will provide counseling and will be able to tell any further course of action.

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