"Screen-positive" and "Screen-negative"

It is important to remember that a screening test does not give a diagnosis; it only predicts the likelihood for a problem to occur.  The Iowa Integrated Screen can indicate whether you have an increased or decreased risk to have a baby with Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 or an open neural tube defect.  The Iowa Integrated Screen will detect about 85% of pregnancies with Down syndrome, 80% with Trisomy 18 and 85% with open neural tube defects.

An Iowa Integrated Screening result is considered screen-positive (higher risk) if the risk for Down syndrome or Trisomy 18 is greater than or equal to a predetermined risk as set by the Screening laboratory.  It is considered screen-positive for an open neural tube defect if the AFP level is greater than or equal to 2.2 times the average level for your stage of pregnancy.  It is important to remember that a screen-positive result does not mean that your baby has a problem, only that the chance that your baby might have Down syndrome, Trisomy 18, or an open neural tube defect is elevated.

If your Iowa Integrated Screening result is screen-positive for Down syndrome or Trisomy 18, you will be offered an amniocentesis for diagnosis.  If you have a result that is screen-positive for an open neural tube defect, you will be offered an ultrasound examination and possibly an amniocentesis.  Fortunately, most women who undergo further testing will find out that their developing babies do not have these problems.

An Iowa Integrated Screening result is considered screen-negative (lower risk) if the risks for Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 and open neural tube defects are below the predetermined risk as set by the Screening laboratory.  A screen-negative result suggests that the baby is unlikely to have one of these problems, and further testing is not offered.  It is important to remember that a screen-negative result, while reassuring, does not guarantee that your developing baby is healthy.  A small number of babies with Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 or an open neural tube defect will be missed by this screening.

For more information:

March of Dimes (Ultrasound)  (En Español)

March of Dimes (Amniocentesis)  (En Español)

 

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