What does a screen positive result mean?
A screen positive result means that the patient is at a high risk for having a baby with one of the conditions included in the screen. A result is considered screen positive if the patient’s adjusted risk (based on screening results) is higher than or equal to the threshold risk level set for the screening test. A screen positive result is NOT diagnostic. If your patient receives a screen positive result, genetic counseling is recommended to discuss available testing options, which may include the option of diagnostic testing like chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis to determine whether the baby has the condition.
What does a negative result mean?
If the risk for each condition on the screen is below the threshold risk level for the screening test, then the result is called screen negative. Although a screen negative result means that the patient is not at high risk of having a baby with the tested conditions, a screen negative result does not completely rule out the possibility of a pregnancy with one of these conditions. A screening test cannot completely distinguish between an affected pregnancy and an unaffected one.
Advantages of risk assessments
Risk assessment by maternal serum screening is non-invasive, and it provides important information about a patient’s pregnancy and developing baby. If the pregnancy is found to be at risk for a serious birth defect, counseling is recommended to discuss the options for diagnostic testing and also to explain to the patient how their child’s physical and mental development could be affected.
Learn more about prenatal diagnostic testing options.