J Genet Med.  2008 Jun;5(1):7-14.

The recent trend of prenatal screening

  • 1Hamchoon Women's Clinic, Seoul, Korea. doyhwang@hamchoon.com


Twenty years have passed since a prenatal screening for Down syndrome and neural tube defect was applied to obstetric field. The Quad test (AFP, hCG, uE3, Inhibin-A) of the second trimester and the combination test (PAPP-A, hCG, NT) of the first trimester became popular now. The recent trend of prenatal screening is to combine these two screening tests together in order to increase a detection rate of Down syndrome. Three types of screening methods are introduced as follows; integrated test, sequential test and contingent test. In addition to combination of each test, an incorporation of characteristic ultrasound findings of Down syndrome is suggested for its risk calculation. The absence of fetal nasal bone would be a very useful marker especially in the first trimester screening test. According to a change of way calculating risk of Down syndrome, obstetrician's role will be more increased not by passive participation, but by active participation using ultrasound in risk calculation.


Prenatal screening
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