Total Beta hCG
The placenta of a pregnant woman produces hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin). The levels of this hormone increase in the blood during early pregnancy, between 8 to 10 weeks and reach the peak around the 10th week. The levels start falling steadily after this stage. Total beta hCG is a test that measures the amount of hCG in blood.
Why is the test ordered?
The quantitative measurement of the hCG hormone may be helpful to confirm a pregnancy, monitor a woman after miscarriage or to help diagnose and monitor a failing pregnancy. The test may be useful in diagnosing ectopic pregnancy along with a progesterone test and may be used as a part of screening for foetal abnormalities.
The test may also be helpful in diagnosing ovarian germ cell tumours, Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) and teratoma besides monitoring therapeutic response in hCG-secreting tumours and GTD.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
No special preparation is required for the test.