The test involves an ultrasound to measure the nuchal fold in the back of the baby’s neck, plus some additional blood tests from the mother. This test can be done between 10 weeks and 3 days, and 13 weeks and 6 days of gestation. Studies show that this early screen may be slightly more accurate than the AFP Tetra. Women who desire the early screen will be referred to Maternal Fetal Medicine at EVMS for this testing, as we currently do not offer it in our offices.
Why it’s important: Detection of genetic problems require referral to the Department Maternal Fetal Medicine at EVMS for counseling to help the family to make important decisions, such as whether or not to terminate the pregnancy, or to plan and prepare for the baby’s arrival. Babies born with genetic defects require delivery at a high risk center so that trained neonatologists will be available to provide the specialized care they may need.