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SPINA BIFIDA BLOOD TEST

(7 Posts)
bonkerz Tue 11-Jan-05 13:00:52

Just wondering if anyone else has opted for this test?

Dh and i have decided not to bother with it as have been told by midwife test is only 40% accurate and if want more accurate test will have to pay £140 to go private!

I didnt have the test with ds and am certain that i wouldnt be able to make a decision either way if a problem was shown!

Cardigan Tue 11-Jan-05 13:10:50

Does sb show up on ultrasound?

Leogaela Tue 11-Jan-05 14:01:35

Is this the test where they test your blood for a hormone at about 15 weeks? Also it is supposed to be an indicator of chromosonal things.

If - it has to be done exactly the right time if not it is not accurate at all. I also believe it is more accurate for spina bifida than for chromosonal things since the spinal cord leaks this hormone if the baby has spina bifida. In a lot of places they don't even offer it.

I live in CH and didn't have such a detailed scan as the people in the UK seem to have. but I believe that with a good scan SB could be picked up anway. However, it is only a bit of blood they take and unless you feel strongly about not knowing if there is something wrong I don't see the harm in doing it. Unfortunately for me my level showed too low which is an indicator of chromosonal things. DUe to the timing of the test, getting the results, doctor being on holiday i then panicked and ended up having an amniocentesis. Results came back fine, but if it happened again I would insist on a better scan.

There is loads of info on the internet about these tests and discussions. It seems it is quite common in the US and I found a forum there where women were discussing it. It was a while ago now and i don't have the links to the sites, but worth reading up on.

bonkerz Tue 11-Jan-05 19:43:44

i have been told that i can have the blood test which tests for spina bifida and downs syndrome at 15 weeks but if i want the private test it has to be done at 12 weeks! I think we have decided not to bother and the main reasons being that even if we got a positive result and there was a chance the baby could have sb or ds im not sure we could make a decision as to keeping the baby or not!

aloha Tue 11-Jan-05 19:58:40

I would go with ordinary ultrasound at 12 weeks or so. You could see both my babies' spines perfectly at that age.

mrsflowerpot Tue 11-Jan-05 20:25:06

I've had this test with both pregnancies (i'm 18 weeks with the second at the moment), and if I'm ever pregnant again I won't bother. My results came back as 250-1 risk of Downs, which is a bit elevated for my age and right on the cut off of when they call you in to talk about amnio etc. I went in to the hospital to talk to a lovely doctor who almost but not quite told me that the test is not really worth worrying about as the results are far from 100%. You can see spinal development from a scan, and he said that if the test didn't have some value in screening for Downs they would have dropped it in favour of scanning entirely by now. However, it can't tell you whether the baby has Downs, just what your personal risk is, and IMO if you're worried about that there are better ways to find out eg the nuchal scan. Is this what you're considering at 12 weeks?

I am actually quite annoyed with myself for having it - I had confused it in my mind with something else and thought it screened for lots of other things too. All I got from it was loads of stress and worry over the New Year bank holiday weekend when nobody was available to talk to.

Leogaela Wed 12-Jan-05 08:56:16

I have to say in hindsight of my experience i would agree with Flowerpot. I didn't know anything about the nuchal folds scan and wasn't offered one here. It was a very very stressful time, it caused me to unecessarily have an amnio (which I also had to pay for) and who really knows how that can affect the baby. If we want to know how the baby is then there are safer, more reliable comfortable ways of finding out. The only thing is that from the amnio I can know 100% the sex of the baby..... sadly I am one of those that would really rather not know!

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