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You will get a call within 12 Hrs from the time of Booking. *T&C – Free home sample collection is not available on specific tests. Pediatric home sample collection ( kids below 10 years age ) is available at specific cities only

Maternal Marker Test

What is a maternal marker?

A marker, simply put, is an indication. Certain substances in the body become indicators for a specific medical condition, depending on their quantities as tested against the permissible or normal range. Similarly, substances present in a pregnant woman’s blood serum are used as markers during prenatal screening for certain foetal abnormalities, such as genetically transmitted diseases and birth defects.


What are the common maternal serum markers?

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), estriol, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and inhibin-A are some common substances that serve as markers for foetal abnormalities. Apart from these blood analytes, bio-physical properties of the mother or the foetus also serve as prenatal markers.

These markers are not used for the diagnosis of a disorder, but simply to indicate a possible risk and to check if further testing is necessary. They may be used singly, or in combination with other markers. A cut-off level is determined to check whether the result is positive or negative, but this is arbitrary and often takes into consideration factors like the false-positive rate.

How does this work?

Specific markers, or specific combinations of markers, are associated with certain conditions. Some of them are foetal neural tube defects, chromosomal abnormalities, cardiac defects, and more recently, pregnancy complications like pre-eclampsia. All markers are analysed through blood tests.

Double marker- PAPPA , HCG is done in the first trimester. This test determines  if there are any abnormalities in the development of chromosomes of the fetus. The test helps detect neurological disorders like Down’s Syndrome and Edward’s Syndrome. Chromosomal abnormalities can result into serious developmental deformities and may cause various health problems after birth in the child. But the risk of getting such defects is very low. Chance of getting this kind of chromosomal disorders and probability of suffering conditions like Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21), or Edward’s syndrome (Trisomy 18) is very rare

In the second trimester- Triple Marker – AFP , HCG, Estriol , Quadruple Marker – AFP , HCG, Estriol , inhibin a, – Gynecologist may prescribe either of them. These tests usually helps to find fetal anomalies.

AFP is synthesised by the foetus in substantial quantities during the early stages of development. AFP levels in maternal blood serum are much lower. In fact, a high level of AFP in the mother’s serum is a marker of open neural tube defects which may cause spina bifida and anencephaly. Spina bifida affects the backbone and the spinal cord and may even result in partial paralysis along with loss of bowel and bladder control. Babies with anencephaly have underdeveloped brains and skulls and are usually stillborn or do not survive for long after birth.
High AFP levels may also be generated by twin foetuses, in which case there is no abnormality.
Low levels of AFP and estriol and high hCG levels are associated with a risk of Down syndrome (trisomy 21). Low levels of all these three markers suggest Edward Syndrome (trisomy 18).

Further diagnostic tests include the following:

Blood and Urine Tests:  Complete Blood Count, Complete Urine Examination, Urine culture and sensitivity , Thyroid , HIV , Hepatitis , Syphilis, Diabetes test, Blood Pressure test.

A test of the amniotic fluid surrounding the foetus, known as amniocentesis, is done to diagnose chromosomal abnormalities and open neural tube disorders, between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy. Another test called chorionic villus sampling (CVS) takes a sample of the placenta to test it for evidence of chromosomal abnormalities. This test does not reveal neural tube disorders and needs to be followed up by a blood screening between 16 and 18 weeks of pregnancy. Unlike these two diagnostic tests, maternal marking tests are only preliminary tests that do not give conclusive results.

Why is it important to get a maternal marker test done?

Prenatal screening allows for early detection of potential life-threatening genetic illnesses and tells the doctor if further probing is required. And it is a good starting point for monitoring the foetus and clear any doubts surrounding its health.

At Apollo Diagnostics, we acknowledge the sensitivity of the issue as well as its significance and implications (or the lack thereof). Our maternal marker testing procedures are authentic and transparent. Find your nearest Apollo Diagnostics centre here.

Book Your Test

* T & C

You will get a call within 12 Hrs from the time of Booking. *T&C – Free home sample collection is not available on specific tests. Pediatric home sample collection ( kids below 10 years age ) is available at specific cities only

Patient Testimonials

“Finding the best place for a diagnostic test is as important as consulting the best doctor. The Apollo name was what guided me to Apollo Diagnostics and I am indeed glad that I came here. From attending us on time to sample collection, everything flowed so smoothly. I was particularly impressed by the hygiene. It was definitely a value for money experience. Thanks a lot Apollo Diagnostics…keep up the good work!”

Mrs. Ferha Jabeen, Old Bowenpally, Secunderabad

“I Have heard a lot of good things about Apollo Diagnostics from our family physician as well as from relatives and friends. So then next time I needed a diagnostic centre, I visited Apollo Diagnostics and I was really glad I did. For one, I didn’t have to wait. The technician was extremely good, and the place was really clean. It was certainly a value for money experience. Great job Apollo Diagnostics!”

Ms. T. Jaya, Nakkalagutta, Hanmakonda

“I must say Apollo Diagnostics places a great value on time and patient comfort! I am a fan of their home collection service which is not only on time and technically sound, but the hygiene and cordiality of the visiting technician is also commendable. Hats off! I’ll continue to recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my family and friends.”

Mr. B. Pochaiah, Mallikarjuna Nagar Colony, Old Bowenpally, Secunderabad

“I have always had a great experience with Apollo Diagnostics. The calls are unfailingly answered. The scheduled appointment is kept to the minute. The phlebotomist is well-trained in both technique and putting the patient at ease. Apollo Diagnostics undoubtedly delivers value for money. They will always be my top option for all the diagnostic needs of my family.”

Mr. Prasanta Kumar Jena, JP Nagar, Bengaluru

“I came to know about Apollo Diagnostics from my relatives and friends. So, when I required a check up to be done, I thought about trying their service once. From sticking to the appointed time to accuracy of technique, it was really a great experience overall. Hygiene of the technician and the centre as well, was also quite admirable. I certainly felt it delivers value for money service. From now on, I’ll always visit Apollo Diagnostics for all my checkups.”

Mr. Venkateshwar Rao, Hanmakonda

“I was looking for a good diagnostic centre to get some checkups done. I was confused as there are so many of them all over the city. Some of my friends recommended Apollo Diagnostics as the best one. I’ll always remain thankful to them. The technician at Apollo Diagnostics was not only punctual but his competency was certainly praiseworthy. I never felt any discomfort as he was so confident and compassionate. Great job Apollo Diagnostics!”

Mr. T Radhakishan Rao, Hanmakonda

“My experience with Apollo Diagnostics has been consistently good. Securing the appointment was very easy and the schedule was maintained to the dot. The behaviour of the technician was pleasant and he was well–versed with his job. The place was noticeably clean and I did not face any discomfort during the process. The reports were delivered as promised and surprisingly, the service was pretty affordable. I would recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my circle without any hesitation!”

Mr. Arif Ameer, JP Nagar, Bengaluru

“Apollo Diagnostics came highly recommended by my friends. I was particularly impressed by their cordiality, time management and process competence. Another must mention is the hygiene factor that is impeccable. Given the quality delivered, this is certainly a value for money experience. Thanks a lot Apollo Diagnostics…keep up the great work!”

Ms. A.Madhavi, Warangal

“Our family physician strictly instructed me to get the checkup done at Apollo Diagnostics. I am glad I respected his opinion. I was attended to as soon as I went in. The technician was a true expert at his job and made it a painless experience for me. I also observed that the centre was spotless and all the staff members were particular about maintaining hygiene. Apollo Diagnostics certainly delivers value for money. I’ll always recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my family and friends.”

Ms. Vimala, Hanmakonda

“My Apollo Diagnostics experience has thus far been truly amazing. Besides unfailingly maintaining the schedule – be it sample taking or report delivery, their sense of cleanliness is also tops. The technicians are well-trained and do their job with diligence and in a friendly manner that puts patients at ease at once. Apollo Diagnostics is setting a very high standard indeed! Now that’s what I call a fine job!”

Ms. G. Jyothi, Warangal

“My mother needed a blood test, but was unable to walk due to pain in her leg. A Phlebotomist from Apollo Diagnostics came home and collected the sample. I was informed, via SMS, that the report could be collected from any of the 3 centres in Dibrugarh, downloaded online or even delivered home for a nominal fee. Although the rates were reasonable, my mother also received a senior citizens discount too! This saved my time, money & energy. My aachhe din really seemed to have arrived! Thank you Apollo Diagnostics and hats off for displaying true professionalism.”

Mr. Alokk Kar Dowerah, Dibrugarh

“Whenever I need to have a blood sample collected from home, I ask for Vasu. He is punctual, courteous and so skilled I hardly feel any pain when he draws the sample. Plus, I truly appreciate how quickly the reports are delivered. Thanks Apollo!”

Mr. Sukumar, Film director, Sriram Nagar, Hyderabad