quad screen results - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 12 Old 11-12-2005, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
mariank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 174
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hello Women!

I tried (unsuccessfully) to find a thread about this, because I'm sure others have had to deal with this. I'm at 17 weeks, and I decided to have the quad screen blood test on Monday. I would have skipped it but DH was leaning toward wanting to know if there were problems now rather than at birth, and I was ambivalent so I decided to honor his feelings and go ahead. Of course, yesterday the MW called and said I have an elevated chance of down syndrome. I go in for an ultrasound next week to check the dates, because my cycles are about 24 days, not 28, and apparently having the dates wrong could affect the results of this test. I would never have an amnio, but they might recommend that I have a level 2 ultrasound at a hospital if the dates don't change the results.

When I was PG with DS (who's 2 now), I had a different test; I think the quad screen is really new. With the other test, I had an elevated chance of (I think this is right) neural tube defect, so I think this is the same result in effect. I had a level 2 ultrasound (which I think just means a doctor reads it in addition to the ultrasound technician) and everything was fine and our DS is perfect in every way.

So, I'm not freaked out about this but I guess I'm wondering if anyone here has had a similar experience to share so I'll be more informed. Anyone? Thanks so much for any thoughts you might have.

Marian
mariank is offline  
#2 of 12 Old 11-12-2005, 03:58 PM
 
NYCVeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On my couch
Posts: 5,189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For the women who test high risk for Down's--approximately 5% of all test-takers--95-98% will prove to be false positives (this is why we're refusing this test). The odds that you actually have a Down's baby are exceedingly slim. This test was actually never intended as a screening test for all pregnant women (just for high risk women), but doctors pushed for it to avoid lawsuits from women who did end up having babies with problems.
NYCVeg is offline  
#3 of 12 Old 11-12-2005, 05:08 PM
 
aris99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi,

I did the quad screen...I was elevated for down's, AND neural tube defects....in fact 5 out of my 6 blood tests (this included 2 tests from the first trimester) were abnormal. I had an amnio w/pretty dire consequences. I was one of those 1/600 people who rupture membranes after the procedure....so you are doing well to say NO! to an amnio. I also want to tell you that very often when you test positive for neural tube defects your baby doesn't actually have them BUT there maybe problems w/the placenta allowing more AFP to cross over into your bloodstream than normally occurs. I have a "leaky" placenta which allows leaking on both sides of the placenta so that's why so many of my results came back positive. Turned out my daughter is chromosomally perfect...she's just dealing w/placental insufficiency. This is my last pregnancy but if I were to do it again...I would probably take the tests as I do have a history of IUGR and placental prob's and these tests give you a heads up BUT I would not ever ever agree to another amnio!!!

Good luck w/your decision!

Anne
edd March 9 but who knows?

mum to 3, 8 yo dd: 6yo ds and 4yo dd
aris99 is offline  
#4 of 12 Old 11-13-2005, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
mariank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 174
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I appreciate your comments... probably should have mentioned that I'm 39 which is why they were suggesting it for. No pushing (last time I was pushed to have the test), which was a relief. I don't think I'll be pushed to do an amnio and would never do that. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and I'm sorry that happened! I actually feel pretty OK about this because I know the chances are very slim that it's a real result. And the part of me that's worried is channeling Neil Young and his wife (although their kids have MS, not Downs), inspirations! Thanks again... Marian
mariank is offline  
#5 of 12 Old 11-13-2005, 01:03 PM
 
gethane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: nebraska transplant in california
Posts: 3,184
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg
For the women who test high risk for Down's--approximately 5% of all test-takers--95-98% will prove to be false positives (this is why we're refusing this test). The odds that you actually have a Down's baby are exceedingly slim. This test was actually never intended as a screening test for all pregnant women (just for high risk women), but doctors pushed for it to avoid lawsuits from women who did end up having babies with problems.
First, I didn't do the quad screen, so I'm not really an advocate. However, I don't think this is really true. From the research I did for it, it WAS intended as a screen for all pregnant women. The fact is that 70% of all down's babies are born to women UNDER 35. And only those over 35 were being screened with ultrasounds and amnios. So most cases weren't being caught. So they specifically worked on a screening test to be administered to those under 35, to catch more cases.

But the false positive rate is quite high. I chose not to get the screen when I was 35 and under. And this pregnancy, I decided to get a level 2 u/s, so figured, why have the screen? The u/s is what would happen next if something came up abnormal in the screening test, and I was having it anyway.
gethane is offline  
#6 of 12 Old 11-13-2005, 10:49 PM
 
NYCVeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On my couch
Posts: 5,189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gethane
First, I didn't do the quad screen, so I'm not really an advocate. However, I don't think this is really true. From the research I did for it, it WAS intended as a screen for all pregnant women. The fact is that 70% of all down's babies are born to women UNDER 35. And only those over 35 were being screened with ultrasounds and amnios. So most cases weren't being caught. So they specifically worked on a screening test to be administered to those under 35, to catch more cases.
.
I got the numbers from several places--Sears lists them, Ina May Gaskin lists them, and I found a website on a previous MDC post on this issue that listed them (it was a gov't medical website, I believe--not a site that was advising against the test, but just one that was reporting stats). Everything I saw said that for Down's, the false positive rate is 95-98% (the numbers for trisomy 18 are slightly better, but still around a 90% false positive).

This is from Ina May Gaskin's "Guide to Childbirth":
Quote:
When the AFP-screening test kit was first introduced, the FDA regulated and allowed its use only in research settings. However, pressure from physicians and laboratories prompted the FDA to withdraw regulating screening. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advised its members to offer the test to all pregnany women as part of a liability alert. This alert was for the benefit of doctors, not women. It was mean to prevent lawsuit.
I found the book very well researched--there are references for her claims.
NYCVeg is offline  
#7 of 12 Old 11-13-2005, 10:52 PM
 
gethane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: nebraska transplant in california
Posts: 3,184
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh, no, I'm sorry. I should've been more clear. I completely agree with you on the false positive rate. I was only disagreeing on your statement that the test wasn't meant for low risk women. The things I've read clearly stated that the newest tests, this quad screen, was very much intended for every pregnant woman, since most down's syndrome babies are born to those under 35.

Though the reasons could very well have been liability. I'll try to find where I read that, but it was probably 12 weeks ago that I researched this.
gethane is offline  
#8 of 12 Old 11-14-2005, 10:18 AM
 
NYCVeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On my couch
Posts: 5,189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ah...gotcha. I'm guessing the truth probably lies somewhere in between--that both better screening and avoidance of liability were involved in offering the test. The stats I've read also say that the test only picks up 60% of actual Down's cases (though numbers are somewhat better for neural tube defects and trisomy 18). Which isn't horrible--but still means that almost half of cases won't be picked up.
NYCVeg is offline  
#9 of 12 Old 11-14-2005, 10:21 PM
 
kchoffmann's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: baby jail
Posts: 1,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is probably not relevant, but the reason 70% of Downs babies are born to women under 35 is because many more women under 35 are having babies than woman over 35. This from my mother, an OB.
kchoffmann is offline  
#10 of 12 Old 11-14-2005, 10:29 PM
 
gethane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: nebraska transplant in california
Posts: 3,184
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, that's what I read. Women 35 and older, though, for years were getting amniocentisis and targeted ultrasounds. What I read said thats why they developed a non-invasive screen test though. The Down's cases, the majority of them, weren't being caught in the under 35 population, and more women under 35 were having babies.

Women over 35 have a higher proportion of Down's babies, but women under 35 have a higher number overall.

It's really too bad OB's aren't making all this stuff quite clear. I had to go researching online to discover it was silly for me to do a quad screen, since I was already scheduled for the targeted u/s.
gethane is offline  
#11 of 12 Old 11-14-2005, 10:55 PM
Banned
 
MrsMoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've known numerous women with false positives. One woman, the Dr. strongly urged her to abort, but they refused. The baby was born a picture of health.
MrsMoe is offline  
#12 of 12 Old 11-17-2005, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
mariank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 174
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Update: I had a regular (not level 2) ultrasound earlier this week and everything looks right on target. The other confusing thing about this is that if your dates are wrong, it affects the results of the test. My cycle tends to be about 24 days, not 28, so I have an earlier due date. The ultrasound confirmed the earlier due date (not simply based on date of LMP, which was 4 days later). Everything they look at in the ultrasound that might indicate birth defect looked right on target. I feel completely reassured. Although, DH and I are also settled with the possibility of downs or another issue should we be faced with it. I'm sure it's a very slight chance and am not really thinking about it. Of course the ultrasound was wonderful, seeing that little babe moving around in there. And... it's a girl!
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. Marian
mariank is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off