Research Article| Volume 159, ISSUE 1, P95-98, November 2011

Introduction of first trimester combined test increases uptake of Down's syndrome screening



      To describe any trends in the uptake of antenatal screening for Down's syndrome since the addition of the earlier first trimester combined test.

      Study design

      All antenatal screening tests for Down's syndrome were carried out and their results were recorded by the Clinical Biochemistry Department at the Hull Royal Infirmary (HRI) and reviewed against the antenatal booking data held at the Women and Children's Hospital at HRI. The uptake of antenatal Down's syndrome screening for 5 different age groups of women across a four-year-period from 2007 to 2010 was analysed.


      There was a significant increase in uptake of antenatal screening for Down's syndrome from 43.9% to 56.5% after the introduction of the combined test in 2010. This increase was apparent in all age groups. There was no change in the proportion of women opting for an invasive test following a positive screening test.


      Addition of the earlier first trimester combined test has increased uptake of antenatal screening for Down's syndrome in women of all ages. This is most likely due to the advantages this test gives women such as earlier decision making, earlier further invasive diagnostic testing and earlier termination, if necessary.


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