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Maternal Serum Screening

Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18 and Neural Tube Defects

Who Should Be Offered Maternal Serum Screening?

Slide 3

March 2011

Historically, maternal age 35 years or older at the time of delivery was used to identify women at high-risk and who will benefit from diagnostic procedures. However, age alone is a poor risk predictor for fetal defects. The introduction of biochemical screening in combination with the womans age has facilitated the refinement of a woman risk to carry an affected fetus and who will benefit from diagnostic procedures. In a statement published in 2007, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists or (ACOG) recommended that screening and invasive diagnostic testing be offered to all women before 20 weeks of gestation, regardless of maternal age. However, it is not practical to present patients with all the options available. Instead, it is recommended that providers review the evidence available and decide which screening option or options will be best to offer to their patient population.

Who Should Be Offered Screening?


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