All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Parents > Q&A > Pregnancy and Infants > What Is the Triple Screen Test?
What Is the Triple Screen Test?

I am 15 weeks pregnant with my first child and the doctor asked if I wanted a triple screen test. What exactly is this and should I get it?
- Sara

Most expectant women will be offered a maternal blood-screening test around weeks 15-20 of their pregnancy. Also known as a "triple marker" test, the triple screen test measures the levels of a protein produced by the fetus as well as two pregnancy-produced hormones in the mother's blood. This test can reveal the chance that a mother is carrying a fetus with neural tube defects or Down syndrome.

The test is sometimes called a quadruple screen (or marker) when the level of an additional substance, called inhibin-A, is also measured. Keep in mind that these are screening tests and only show the possibility of a problem existing — they don't provide a definitive diagnosis, and don't catch all abnormalities. However, if results are positive that a problem could exist, other diagnostic tests can then be performed.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013

Related Articles
P    A Week-by-Week Pregnancy Calendar
P    Birth Defects
P    Down Syndrome
P    Folic Acid and Pregnancy
P    Genetic Counseling
P    Genetic Testing
P    Medical Care During Pregnancy
P    Pregnancy & Newborn Center
P    What Is the Multiple Marker Test?
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
Employment
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor
News
CME

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2014 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved