2nd Trimester

Quad Screening -- Positive

I'm 26 and 17 weeks pregnant.  I just recieved a call from my doctor's office yesterday informing me that my quad screening returned positive for down syndrome.  The nurse told me that the blood test is not conclusive, so my husband and I are going to a specialist who will perform a level II ultrasound and we will also have genetic counseling.  There are no relatives on either side of our families that have down syndrome.  This news has been quite a shock and is causing us to worry and stress.  I am looking all over the internet for information on the testing and steps that will follow.  Has anyone been through this situation?  I would appreciate any advice.  We cannot go for the ultrasound until the week of the 12th.  It is going to be a long two weeks until we get there.  I need to be 20 weeks for the ultrasound to take place.  Thanks for any information that you can share with me. 


Re: Quad Screening -- Positive

  • It was my understanding that the quad screen just shows what you are at more of a risk of.  A positive result could mean that there is a 1/10 chance of downs.  So statistically speaking, there is a very good chance that your baby doesn't have downs, but since you are at an increased risk, they will do more testing than someone with a lower chance.  GL!
  • The rate of false positives is really high on that test. Most often because of wrong due dates and multiples. We opted not to get the quad because I knew I was going to get an amnio anyway. So it seemed rather pointless - and would only make me worry if I got a false positive. When I went in for my 20 month U/S the tech said that it was probably a good thing I didn't get it since my EDD was so different from what they originally thought it would sure read wrong..

    Basically, my understanding is that they are really only looking for a negative to rule it out.

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  • ditto what others have said. An amnio would give you a true yes/no answer.... the other tests are only risk factors- so try to stay positive!!
  • I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I don't have any personal experience with it but a woman I work with, her daugher's test came back positive and her baby turned out healthy. Try not to worry until you know for sure.
  • I thought you could have a 1/250 chance and still be considered positive.  You should check that number though.  Its not conclusive and like the pp said, the rate of false positives is high.
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  • Wow, I am going through this same thing!  I had my nurse call me with the news last Friday.  I have a 1 in 22 chance of my baby being born with a type of Down syndrome called trisomy 18.  Yesterday I went in for the ultrasound and then spoke with a genetic councilor.  They found nothing abnormal with the ultrasound, but were unable to get a good photo of the babies heart, so they g.c. wasn?t able to tell me I had any better than a 1 in 22 chance of the baby being born unhealthy.  So, my DH and I decided that we simply needed to know now!  And I went ahead and got the amnio.  I get some of the test results from that back in a few days (fish test) and the other back in two weeks, but I really feel like everything is going to be okay.  There are so many false positives, I sooo bet your baby is fine.  Did you get any statistics?  Once you talk to the geneticist, your mind will be at ease.  I was so freaked out the first day I found out, but after researching, and talking to people on here, I found out SO MANY women have gone through this only to have perfectly beautiful healthy little boys and girls.  I just am amazed at how common this is!  There really should be something done to make false positives less frequent.  If you have questions about the amnio, I have a lot to say...  but don't want to scare you; it was just yesterday, so still very fresh on my mind.

  • The way my dr. explained it to me is that they specifically design the test to be overly sensitive and to detect anything that would make the test positive.
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  • these ladies are right on! hang in there


  • This test has  an exceptionally high false positive rate.  I went through this over Thanksgiving and if I knew before I had the test about how high the false positives were, I'd have never done it

    After two weeks of worrying and stressing, I went to meet with my genetic  counselor who went over every possible thing that could go wrong and the range from slightly to severly effected.  Then I went for my level 2 u/s - which took almost an hour to find out that there were no indicators that the baby was effected.  I chose not to have the amnio though.  I had to drive 2 hours each to get to this doctor and just wanted to get home.  Not sure if you'll have this, but the u/s sound tech was really pushing on my stomach while doing my scan to get all of the measurements.  The only upside - if you haven't already found out the sick you can at this one.

    Good luck - try not to worry.



  • I'm still waiting on my results from my test and I am starting to regret taking it. I have heard tons of stuff about false positives so hopefully thats all yours is. I thought down syndrome ran in the family and your not older at all which would be more common. It sounds to me like a false positive but I really don't know. Just dont stress, stress isn't good for the baby.

    I hope everything is ok and keep us posted. good luck!

  • the test just gives you a risk.  it's not really positive or negative - everyone keeps saying there is a high false positive rate.  most labs set up the test to pick up the 5% of pregnancies at highest risk - of course the rate of down's syndrome is less than that so most of those even though the risk is elevated, the baby is fine.  sometimes having a higher risk can indicate other problems too that they can watch for in the pregnancy.  depending how high your risk is, you need to decide if you want the amnio to know for sure if there is a problem - that test is 99.5% accurate. 

    by the way, the integrated screen - with NT and blood draw in the first trimester plus the quad screen at the usual time - does have a lower screen positive rate [therefore less people will be told that they have a high risk for down's syndrome].

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