So, im so confused right now. I got my results on my 2nd trimester quad screening and the levels were high and now i need a level 2 ultrasound to check for spinal bifada. how accurate are these tests because im starting to freak out a little bit, i had a daughter 9 years ago with spinal bifada that passed away and im just nervous that they are going to find something. i hear the tests can give false positives but i dont know what percentage that is. if anyone has had this happen to them and there babies were fine or have more information on how accurate these tets are i would greatly appreciate it, i just need some piece of mind.

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I researched this when I was deciding whether or not to have the test preformed. It has an overall false positive rate of about 5% but that rate can go as high as 22% for women over the age of 35. However, it is important to remember that this is not a diagnostic test. It is simply an assessment of risks. "A positive maternal serum screen result does not mean that a fetus is affected with a neural tube defect, Down syndrome or trisomy 18, but rather indicates that the risk for these conditions is increased over the general population (greater than 1 in 500 risk), and that amniocentesis should be considered. This means that a positive result DOES NOT mean your baby has a problem. It only means that the risk that they may is higher than for the gen pop. I know 2 people that tested positive and went on to do further testing that showed their baby was fine.

An important point to remember is that the results are based very closely on the mother's age, race, and the date of the pregnancy. Inaccurate info on any of these can drastically skew the results and lead to false-positives. The greatest reason for a false positive is miscalculation of the date of pregnancy/gestational age. How sure are you about the date?

And finally, medical technology has advanced greatly in the last 10 years, esp in the field of perinatalogy and fetal surgery. So, even if you find that this baby also has spinal bifada---it does not mean that it will be the same as it was 9 years ago with your daughter. There are treatments and procedures available today that can correct and in some cases eliminate the defect in utero, resulting in a baby that not only lives but thrives and develops normally.

My thoughts are with you during this time. i hope that you get good news. If not, I wish you strength to handle the news and determination in helping find new treatments and procedure available to help your baby.

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