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Quad Screen: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

What is the Quad Screen? How is the Quad Screen treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the Quad Screen?

The quad test is a medical test performed on pregnant women, to ensure that there are no abnormalities with the offspring. The test may look to ascertain the levels of alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin, estriol and Inhibin A. The test is conducted during the second trimester, which is around 15 and 18 weeks of the pregnancy. However, in some cases, the test be conducted up to 20 weeks.

The test is performed to determine if the child faces a risk of chromosomal conditions such as Down syndrome. Even when the test reveals no risk for Down Syndrome, the test can be done to ascertain that the child does not suffer from an increased risk of developing any chromosomal disease.

The quad screen test can be used to detect four disorders, namely, down syndrome, Trisomy 18, Spina bifida and anencephaly. This test was popular for detection of the chromosomal condition when the blood test and ultrasound technology was unavailable. Now, most doctors may recommend a prenatal cell-free DNA instead of the quad test.

Quad test is not a diagnostic procedure, but is used to determine if the foetus suffers from a higher risk of developing chromosomal conditions in the future.

How is the Quad Screen treatment done?

This is a very simple and routine procedure, which does not involve any invasive methodology. Therefore, there are no risks as a result of the test to either the unborn baby or the child. However, as with any other test concerning the unborn child, the quad test can lead to some anxiety in the mother, while she waits for the results from the same.

No special preparation is required prior to undergoing the test. However, you may be asked to visit a genetic counsellor to know more about the procedure. No fasting or diet restrictions have to be followed prior to the testing. Blood is drawn from the veins in the mother’s arm. This blood sample is then sent to the lab for analysis. The mother can return to normal lifestyle immediately after the test is conducted.

The results, along with the age of the mother, is used to assess the chance that the mother may have a child with chromosomal conditions. The results are provided as a probability and only 1 in 500 children with chromosomal conditions develop a severe disorder when they are born. If the quad test gives a positive result for disorders, doctors may recommend taking additional steps or performing diagnostic tests.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

All pregnant women in their second trimester can undergo the test, but it is not compulsory. An ultrasound may be a better alternative when compared to the quad test.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

All pregnant women can undergo the test, but the mother should be in her second trimester, for the test to show the best results. Apart from this, there are no other criteria that a mother need to qualify in order to undergo the quad test.

Are there any side effects?

There are no side effects from the test, since only a small amount of blood is needed. This sample is drawn from the mother’s arm.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The test follows a simple procedure and a small amount of the mother’s blood is drawn for it. The mother can go home immediately after the sample is collected. No guidelines need to be followed as such, but the area from where the blood is drawn should be kept clean, so as to reduce the chances of an infection.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovery is usually immediate and the mother can go back home as soon as the sample is collected. However, if there is an infection or irritation at the place where the blood was collected from, treatment should be sought immediately.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price for the quad test differs from one place to another. However, it is usually limited between Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 5,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Results of the tests are permanent, but it can only be construed as a possibility for chromosomal condition in the offspring. The test does not give any final result and is therefore no dependable to diagnose any existing condition of the baby. If the quad test shows a positive result, doctors may recommend other diagnostic tests.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Quad tests, are generally, not preferred by physicians, anymore. It was a popular medical procedure at a time when ultrasounds did not exist. However, since the invention of ultrasound technology, the popularity and usefulness of the quad test has waned. Most doctors will recommend ultrasounds during a pregnancy and such a test will help diagnose any genetic or chromosomal condition in the child.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have time pain in the back of my head since 1 year so suffer filling like vomiting sickness. Stomach upset I done mri ct scan but no problem. Last six month I take these medicine 1 nervoday-g. 2 zifen Mr. so please let me know what to do thanks.

MD Medicine, DM Neurology
Neurologist, Panchkula
Hello Shamshad, Unfortunately there is no mention of your diagnosis, the diagnosis of headache is clinical dependent on many factors. Its the most common complaint in the world. I am reasonably sure that the present medication is not going to make...

I am 63 years old male. I have been suffering from bp for the last 25 years and now taking nebistar sa daily in the morning. Systolic reading goes up usually in the morning especially when being tense and diastolic is little below normal always. My anxiety levels are little high. When the stress is eased and in the evening systolic reading comes down. Systolic when tensed is 150/160 and diastolic never crosses 84-85. My Dr. indicate that upper on is due to stress which should managed. I am trying to avoid stress but not all times. My ecg and echo are normal. When I walk or climb up steps not having any problems. My oxygen level is 97-98 always. 2. I do not have diabetic family history. My fasting sugar level is little more than normal say 120-130 but after food is 140 to 150 and three months (hba1c) hovers around 6.1 to 6.2. I am not taking any medicine but diet and exercise. 3. I have been suffering from shoulder and neck pain and on verifying the x ray report Dr. indicate age related changes and advise is to take calcium tablets and physiotherapy which I am taking. 4. I am also experiencing little weight loss and presently my weight is 64 kg and my height is 5 feet 6 inches. During the last one year loss is around 4-5 kg and for the last 2 months not much. In this connection I wish to advise that all my pathological reports viz cbc, liquid profile, urine are normal. My thyroid reports are also normal. I do not drink smoke and am vegetarian. Wish to have medical advise for brining down stress, maintain current weight and to strengthen bones please. As I am have acidity issue, allergic to medicines having acid or amla content.

DNB CARDIOLOGY , MD MEDICINE, MBBS
Cardiologist, Aurangabad
Hello, being a cardiologist I im not the best person to advice about stress management but as far as your bp is concerned, 150-160 is high. If it consistently remains high you have to change medicines. I suggest you getvan abpm (ambulatory bp moni...

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