Vol 94, No 2 (2023)
Review paper
Published online: 2022-12-29

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Influence of selected factors on serum AFP levels in pregnant women in terms of prenatal screening accuracy — literature review

Joanna Glowska-Ciemny1, Marcin Szymanski1, Jakub Pankiewicz1, Zbyszko Malewski12, Constantin von Kaisenberg3, Rafal Kocylowski1
Pubmed: 36597745
Ginekol Pol 2023;94(2):158-166.


Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is one of the biochemical components of the triple (T-3) and quadruple (T-4) test used so far in prenatal screening mainly for trisomy 21 (T21) and neural tube defects (NTDs). Based on many years of experience and data collected during these studies, a variety of factors have been identified that can affect a pregnant woman’s serum AFP level, and thus the risk assessment of trisomy 21 (T21) and neural tube defects. These include both unaccounted for purely medical data (e.g., from baseline information about the patient, assisted reproduction methods used, comorbidities and emerging pregnancy pathologies) and errors made during statistical analysis. Since the triple or quadruple test is usually performed between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, most scientific studies are based solely on results from this period of pregnancy — limited data are available for the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. In the era of new improved screening tests, AFP has the potential to become an independent marker for pregnancy well-being evaluation.

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