Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A

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During pregnancy, a growing placenta produces a protein called Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A. To determine the level of the protein, the First Trimester Screening test is done on pregnant women. The test also helps to assert whether the fetus has any kind of birth defects. [1][2]

What is Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A?

Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A is a part of the First Trimester Screening Test. [1]

Combining two blood tests along with a special ultrasound, the First Trimester Screening Test is done to assess a pregnant lady’s risks of carrying a fetus with chromosome disorder. [1] The test helps to measure two major substances found in a pregnant women’s blood. These substances are Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A, and hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormones, both produced by placenta during early days of pregnancy. [2]

An abnormal level of Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A means there is an increased risk of abnormality associated with the baby’s chromosome. [2]

Why is Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A suggested?

A Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A is suggested to assess if the baby is dealing with chromosome abnormality. The chromosome abnormalities can refer to the following –

  • A baby dealing with down syndrome.
  • A baby dealing with Edwards syndrome.

How is Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A performed?

The test to determine Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A comes under the First Trimester Screening Test, and can be performed as followed –

  • A blood sample will be collected from the mother’s vein.
  • Some specialists may also collect the blood sample by pricking a finger.
  • Sample is sent to the laboratory for examination.

To complete the entire test for Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A, an ultrasound is also performed for fetus examination. [2]

What are the parameters measured in Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A?

During the test, the level of Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A in a pregnant woman’s blood is measured. A lower or any abnormal level of the protein may indicate increased risks of chromosome disorders in the baby. [2]

Preparation before Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A

No special preparations are required. However, for the ultrasound, the mother is instructed to have a full bladder. [1]

Post-care after Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A

No post-care is necessary for Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A.

Sample types in Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A

Women during their 11-14 weeks of pregnancy can get their Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A tested. A blood sample is drawn for the test.

Side effects of Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A

There are no side effects of the Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A test.

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