Triple/Bart’s, Quadruple or Spina Bifida tests

Triple/Bart’s, Quadruple or Spina Bifida tests are often excluded from medical insurance policies, except for women over a certain age who may be covered by some policies. These tests are used to detect potential birth defects in unborn children and are typically conducted between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy.

A Triple test involves taking a serum sample from the mother during this period and testing it for certain hormones. High levels of hCG, low levels of AFP and low levels of oestriol can indicate a potential risk for Down’s Syndrome in the baby. Results are expressed in terms of the risk of having a Down’s child, for example 1 in 145. Detection rates for this test range from 45-65% with a 5% false positive rate. Those with a risk greater than 1 in 200 are usually offered amniocentesis.

A Quadruple test is similar to the Triple test but measures levels of 4 pregnancy hormones to determine whether the baby is at risk for certain birth defects. It is most accurate between the 16th and 18th weeks of pregnancy.

Spina bifida can be screened with maternal blood tests, but typically the diagnosis is made with ultrasound. It is important to note that these tests are not always covered by medical insurance policies, and it is important to check the specific coverage of your policy before undergoing these tests.