Doctor insights on:
Alpha Fetoprotein Test Results
I had an amniotic fluid test which showed a high concentration of alpha-fetoprotein. What does this mean?
QUAD screen.: Historically performed between 16-20 weeks, the maternal serum quadruple screen (quad) is likely to fall by the wayside now that cell-free fetal dna can actually be tested from the maternal blood (maternit21 and others). Quad is a screening - not diagnostic - test. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Quad Screen: This non-invasive prenatal screening blood (serum) test is done around 12 weeks gestation to see if the fetus may have down's syndrome (trisomy 21) or trisomy 18. It is often combined with a transvaginal ultrasound for better accuracy. This test is not diagnostic. If the screening test is worrisome, then an amniocentesis is usually recommended. ...Read more
1980's: The Alpha fetoprotein test was around when i was a resident physician. The test has progressed through the y ears such that there are four levels measured in the pregnant woman's blood looking for the risk of down's syndrome (trisomy 21), trisomy 18 & neural tube defects like spina bifida. This is called the quadruple screen best measured between 16 & weeks of pregnancy. ...Read more
Different diseases: In pregnancy, elevated alpha fetoprotein levels in a woman's serum can indicate fetal abnormalities, like neural tube defects (spina bifida) or ventral wall defects like omphalocele. Outside pregnancy the levels can be elevated in liver cancer or cancer of the germ cells (ovary, testes). ...Read more
Alphafetoprotein: Very low levels of AFP measured between 16-18 weeks of pregnancy can be associated with chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus, most commonly down's syndrome. Further testing by amniocentesis will rule this out. It may also b a red flag for intrauterine growth restriction and preterm birth. Will need closer observation and testing. ...Read more
Dehydration and labs: Dehydration can raise some blood values. Most notably, sodium, chloride, BUN and creatinine are elevated due to less water in the blood. Likewise, Alpha fetoprotein can also be elevated and you would have to see how how the elevation is and how the severe the patient's dehydration was at the time the blood sample was taken. Ask the physician who ordered the test for her input. ...Read more
What do you suggest if my female friend has an alpha-fetoprotein (afp) number of 20.91 ng/ml . . .?
Pregnant or not?: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is used during pregnancy as part of the "Quad Screen". This is a test that includes AFP and three other blood chemicals to screen for Trisomy 18, Trisomy 21 and Neural Tube defects. If the quad screen is abnormal, a referral to see a perinatologist for a detailed ultrasound and additional testing is in order. AFP can also be tested as part of a cancer work-up. ...Read more
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