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Estimation of Down's Syndrome Risks in the First Trimester of Pregnancy: Experience of Testing with PAPP-A, total hCG and Free beta-hCG Levels in Maternal Blood Samples in a German Population by T.M. Reynolds, H.-J. Schaeffer, S. Schlensker

Clinicians in Obstetrics are highly motivated to identify pregnancies affected by fetal malformations as early as possible so as to provide the mother with information to allow her to choose whether termination of pregnancy should be carried out. First trimester screening for Down's syndrome has been developing for several years and the best prospects appear to be assay of PAPP-A and free ß-hCG. We report here an assessment of the newly developed WALLAC non-radioactive DELFIA assay in a German population. The population studied in this report was high risk (due to increased maternal age): False positive rates (FPR) for fïrst trimester screening using PAPP-A and total ß-hCG, first trimester screening using PAPP-A and free ß-hCG and second trimester screening using AFP and free ß-hCG were 23.3%, 32.3% and 12.9%, respectively. The lower FPR in the second trimester group was due to a 2 year difference in mean maternal age relative to the first trimester group.

DOI: Clin. Lab. 1999;45:47-51