Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine - Barts and The London

Screening tests

Antenatal screening tests identify women with a high risk of an affected pregnancy so that they can be offered a diagnostic test.

If the diagnosis is Down's syndrome or an open neural tube defect, women have the option of a termination of pregnancy.

Available screening tests

The Wolfson Institute Antenatal Screening Service provides five screening tests for Down’s syndrome:

The Integrated test uses first and second trimester markers and is the most effective method of screening for Down's syndrome.
Find out more.

The Serum Integrated test is an option for women who are unable to have a nuchal translucency measurement performed.
Find out more.

The Combined test only uses first trimester markers, and is performed at around 11 weeks of pregnancy.
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The Quadruple test only uses second trimester markers and is performed at around 16 weeks of pregnancy.
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The Quadruple plus NT test is an option for women who have had a nuchal translucency (NT) performed.
Find out more.

A number of factors can have an effect on how we calculate the risk of a woman having a Down’s syndrome pregnancy.
Find out how we calculate risk.

Find out how test results are classified, what these classifications mean, and see how the five screening tests compare with one another.
Read about screening test results.

If the result of an antenatal screening is positive for the risk of an abnormality, a woman will be offered further tests to help form a diagnosis.
Find out more about diagnostic tests.

The reflex DNA test uses first or second trimester markers to determine who is automatically reflexed to have a DNA test without being recalled for the DNA test.
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The DNA test is a screening test that uses DNA that is circulating in the mother’s blood to determine the risk of a pregnancy being affected with Down’s syndrome, trisomy 18 or trisomy 13. It can be performed from 10 weeks onward.
Find out more.