Integrated test during pregnancy (birth defects testing)
The integrated test is a screening test done during pregnancy to find out the chance that a baby has certain birth defects, such as Down syndrome. The test is done in two stages at two different times during the pregnancy. You will get the results after the tests in the second trimester are done.
The first stage can be done around 10 to 13 weeks of pregnancy. The tests done for this stage are:
An ultrasound. The ultrasound can show the age of the baby and measure the thickness of the skin at the back of the baby's neck (nuchal translucency, or NT).
Blood tests done to measure the level of two substances in the blood called pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) and beta-human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (beta-hCG).
The second stage can usually be done between weeks 15 and 20. The tests done for this stage are all blood tests and include:
Beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Unconjugated estriol (a form of estrogen).
The results of all these tests are reviewed to see if levels are higher or lower than expected, and the results are reported after the second stage.
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics