April 21, 2022

AFP: The Alpha-Fetoprotein Test. Episode #93

AFP: The Alpha-Fetoprotein Test. Episode #93

The AFP test of the Alpha-Fetoprotein Test is a blood test done in the second trimeter of pregnancy screening for nerual tube defects (NTDs).  This maternal serum along with ultrsasound screening has led to identification of nerual tube defets in...


The AFP test of the Alpha-Fetoprotein Test is a blood test done in the second trimeter of pregnancy screening for nerual tube defects (NTDs).  This maternal serum along with ultrsasound screening has led to identification of nerual tube defets in most pregnancies, allowing parents to make decisions about pregnancy management.

Neural tube defects are birth anomalies that can develop when a portion of the neural tube fails to close normally during the fifth and sixth weeks of pregnancy. This failure to close can result in a defect in the spine along the vertebrae, spinal cord, cranium, or brain.  Several advancements have been made in recent decades to reduce the incidence of NTDs mainly including the supplement folic acid into the diets of pregnant women throught food fortification and prenatal supplements. 

In this episode, we review what you need to know before your AFP test. 

 

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