Getting the Maternal Triple Screen
A new test, called the “maternal triple screen” (also known as the “prenatal risk profile” or “expanded AFP”), is used to screen for birth defects. The triple screen measures the following: Maternal levels of AFPHCG; human chorionic gonadotropin, which is elevated if mother is carrying a baby with some chromosomal abnormalities; Stroll, a byproduct of the hormone estrogen, which is lower if mother is carrying a baby with some chromosomal abnormalities
The triple screen raises the accuracy from twenty-five percent with the AFP alone to 60 percent. The triple screen may detect 70 percent of Down Syndrome babies in women over age thirty-five, and sixty percent in women under age thirty-five.