Biochemical Screening

Screening Program for Down's Syndrome and Other Chromosomal Abnormalities in the Fetus

All pregnant women, no matter what their age, should be given the choice to have their baby screened for Down's syndrome. Antenatal screening for DS is carried out by examination of blood of pregnant women or an Ultrasound scan of fetus or both. This is known as a 'combined test'.

Screening cannot diagnose conditions such as DS. However,what it does show is how likely it is that baby will develop the syndrome. if the risk of Down's syndrome is shown to be high, further tests can be arranged to confirm whether baby has the condition or not.

Maternal blood screening in 1st and 2nd trimester of pregnancy

During a blood test, a sample of blood of pregnant women is taken and tested to check the levels of certain proteins and hormones. If blood contains abnormal levels of these substances, there is an increased risk of having a baby with Down's syndrome. it can be performed in the 1 trimester or 2 trimester of pregnancy.