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Maternal Screening Overview: Understanding the Importance and Benefits

  • March 09,2023
  • 1 Min Read
Maternal Screening Overview: Understanding the Importance and Benefits


Dual Marker


Quadruple Marker


Ideal gestational period

11 weeks to 13 weeks, 6 days

11 weeks to 13 weeks, 6 days

15 weeks to 21 weeks, 6 days

10 weeks to term

Biochemical values


Free beta HCG


Free beta HCG




Free beta HCG



No biochemical testing – sequencing of fetal fraction DNA in the maternal circulation

Bio-physical values required and acceptable range

NT: less than 3 mm

CRL: 42 – 83


CRL: 45 – 84 mm

NT: less than 3 mm

UTPI: 0.4 – 4 

MAP for pre-eclampsia

BPD: 31 – 52 mm


Detection rate





False positive rate





Clinical indication

Early detection of down syndrome, edward syndrome, patau syndrome, and other aneuploidies.

Fetal aneuploidies, structural defects, and pre-eclampsia.

Identifies risk for down syndrome, edward syndrome, patau syndrome, and neural tube defect syndrome.

Screening test for fetal aneuploidies like down syndrome, edward syndrome, and patau syndrome.


AFP – Alpha-fetoprotein; BPD – Biparietal diameter; CRL – Crown rump length; HCG – Human chorionic gonadotropin; MAP – Mean-arterial pressure; NT – Nuchal translucency; PAPP-A –  Pregnancy associated plasma protein; PIGF – Placental growth factor; uE3 – Unconjugated estradiol; UTPI – Uterine artery pulsatility index; NIPT – Non-invasive prenatal testing



  • Cuckle HS, van Lith JM. Appropriate biochemical parameters in first-trimester screening for Down syndrome. Prenat Diagn. 1999 Jun;19(6):505–12. 
  • Perni SC, Predanic M, Kalish RB, Chervenak FA, Chasen ST. Clinical use of first-trimester aneuploidy screening in a United States population can replicate data from clinical trials. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Jan;194(1):127–30. 
  • Wald NJ, Rodeck C, Hackshaw AK, Walters J, Chitty L, Mackinson AM. First and second trimester antenatal screening for Down’s syndrome: the results of the Serum, Urine and Ultrasound Screening Study (SURUSS). J Med Screen. 2003 Jun;10(2):56–7. 
  • Nicolaides KH. Screening for fetal aneuploidies at 11 to 13 weeks. Prenat Diagn. 2011 Jan;31(1):7–15. 
  • Dai R, Yu Y, Zhang H, Li L, Jiang Y, Liu R et al. Analysis of 17,428 pregnant women undergoing non-invasive prenatal testing for fetal chromosome in Northeast China. Medicine. 2021;100(6):e24740.


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