U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 40-year-old member asked:

Are down's syndrome screening tests accurate?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Padmavati Garvey
A Verified Doctoranswered
31 years experience
Yes: Amniocentesis is 100% accurate. The blood test screening tests are 85-95% accurate.
Dr. William Goldie
Pediatric Neurology 49 years experience
To a degree: The definitive testing involves chromosomes to look at the chromosome 21. Alphafetal protein levels may be elevated, but just suggest risk. Fetal ultrasounds may also suggest risk. Chromosome testing is definitive.
Dr. Brian Enggano
Obstetrics and Gynecology 13 years experience
Yes: Screening tests are measurements of certain hormones/proteins in your blood. They are not diagnostic of chromosomal problems but they do indicate if you are at higher risk and whether you should be offered further diagnostic testing. Different tests have different detection rates and which one you receive will depend on your doctor's office resources/laboratory. Discuss this with your doctor.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

Similar questions

A 31-year-old member asked:

Where can I find the most accurate screening tests?

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Paul Hartlaub
Preventive Medicine 35 years experience
Excellent question: All tests have some false positive and some false negative results, but you are right - some are better than others. The ones that are recommended by reliable sources are the best that we have. For a complete list of recommended screening tests by age, gender, and risk factor, look at the prevention checklist 2013 app.
A 28-year-old member asked:

When does screening for down's syndrome begin?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Karl Muench
Clinical Genetics 62 years experience
At 10 weeks...: ...First trimester maternal serum testing and nuchal translucency by fetal ultrasonography begin and can be followed by the maternal serum quad testing for a combined detection rate of 95% with 5%-8% false positives. These non-invasive test results can be validated by chorionic villus sampling (cvs) at about 10 or by amniocentesis at about 15 gestational weeks.
A 34-year-old member asked:

Screening for down's syndrome mandatory?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Not necessaraly: Early pregnancy screening for such things as Down syndrome and open spine defects is part of the fabric of good prenatal care. It provides information to physician & parent about possible complications of pregnancy that allows planning for a complex outcome. I don't know any OB that would require you be screened, but most would want you to sign a waver acknowledging your decision not to have it.
Last updated Sep 28, 2016


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.