Prenatal Screening Using Maternal Markers

Cuckle, Howard Stephen

Maternal markers are widely used to screen for fetal neural tube defects (NTDs), chromosomal abnormalities and cardiac defects. Some are beginning to broaden prenatal screening to include pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia. The methods initially developed for NTDs using a single marker have since been built upon to develop high performance multi-maker tests for chromosomal abnormalities. Although cell-free DNA testing is still too expensive to be considered for routine application in public health settings, it can be cost-effective when used in combination with existing multi-maker marker tests. The established screening methods can be readily applied in the first trimester to identify pregnancies at high risk of pre-eclampsia and offer prevention though aspirin treatment. Prenatal screening for fragile X syndrome might be adopted more widely if the test was to be framed as a form of maternal marker screening.


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Clinical Medicine

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Academic Units
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Published Here
March 28, 2017