Monday, February 28, 2011

Screening test in pregnacy

When the doctor talks about screening test, this often confuses people. Patients get very worried when screening test are positive. However this does not mean the disease is confirmed

A screening test checks the chances of the fetus having a certain disease. When screening test results are positive, it means that the fetus has a higher chance of having the disease, but this is not confirmed.

Confirmation is via a diagnostic test. Why not do a diagnostic test right the from start then?
This is because diagnostic test are usually more expensive, or more difficult to perform and often carry a higher risk.

A screening test should be:
  • Widely available
  • Cheap
  • Sensitive
  • Specific
  • Non invasive
  • safe
  • there must be a diagnostic test for follow up

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