A pregnant women need to undergo few parental screening tests for check up of spina bifida and other tests for checking birth defects. Quadruple screen is a test which is done on pregnant women undergoing second trimester to screen for tests like myelomeningocele, syndrome, fetal ultra sound, MSAFP and to detect other congenital diseases in the baby.
The following tests are performed by the doctor to check for spina bifida:Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein test;This is a blood test where the doctor checks for alpha-fetoprotein, a protein that is produced by the baby. High level of alpha-fetoprotein means that the baby is affected by neural tube defect. It is commonly characterized by incomplete skull structure or not developed brain.
Other blood tests;To detect few hormones like human chorionic gonadotropin, estriol and inhibin A few other blood tests are performed commonly known as triple screen quadruple screen.
Ultrasound; many doctors rely on ultrasonography. High AFP levels in the blood make the doctor suggest ultrasound exam. The black and white images are formed out of the waves through the tissues.
Amniocentesis; this test is done when untrasound is normal but blood test results in high AFP levels. A needle is inserted to take a sample of fluid which surrounds the baby called amniotic sac.