During your pregnancy, one of the tests your Penn obstetrician will perform is called the Multiple Marker Screening Test (MMST).

What is MMS?

The Multiple Marker Screening Test (MMS) is a blood test performed between 15 and 19 weeks of pregnancy to screen for Down syndrome and a birth defect known as spina bifida. The MMS test is commonly referred to as the quad screen test because four substances are measured in the mother's blood.

What To Expect

One tube of blood is required for the quad screen test. No special preparation is needed; you may eat prior to having your blood sample drawn.

The four specific substances measured in the mother's blood originate from the fetus, the placental tissue or a combination of both. These substances are called alpha feto-protein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), unconjugated estriol (uE3) and inhibin A.

Risks and Outcomes

If you think that you may have a special risk for having a child with birth defects, tell your doctor or call one of our genetic counselors for more information before you have the test.
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