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Approximately 2% of births are associated with congenital abnormalities .The most common chromosomal abnormality is Down’s Syndrome. Downs syndrome babies have multiple inherited defects including intellectual disability
, bowel and heart abnormalities and risk of leukemia
. The risk of having baby with Downs syndrome is higher with maternal age. For example, at age 35 the risk of having Downs Syndrome baby is 1 in 400 . Hence, the Triple Test
a blood test
used as a primary screening tool to assess the chance of the pregnancy
being affected by Down’s syndrome. The results from all of the biochemical tests are used together to estimate the possibility of a Down’s syndrome affected baby. Maternal blood is taken for measurement of AFP, b-HCG, and unconjugated oestriol. In some centres, pregnancy associated plasma Protein (PAPPA) and inhibin A are also measured. In reality, due to large variation in Triple Test results due to influence from many factors, biochemical risk is calculated and adjusted for maternal age and weight to calculate the chance of the baby being affected by Down’s syndrome. Take care.