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What is a maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein triple-panel test?

This prenatal screening test combines the reading of the alpha-fetoprotein test with two other blood substances. The results are obtained from a blood sample from the mother at 16 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. This test can detect the majority of neural-tube defects and two out of three babies with Down syndrome. An abnormal reading may prompt further testing such as ultrasound or amniocentesis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.