Find out what it means if you get a positive result on a quad screen
This test does not give a diagnosis of spina bifida or Down syndrome. It takes into account your age, pregnancy age/due date and compares standard lab values to your results. The test lets the doctor know what your individual risk factor is. If the value of the test comes back low it indicates an increased risk of Down syndrome compared with the average, and if the test comes back high, it indicates that there may be a problem with the formation of the baby's spinal cord.
It is important to remember that the test is non-diagnostic, and there can be several reasons for abnormal results (i.e., taking the test too early or late in a pregnancy, twin pregnancies or other fetal abnormalities like the skin over the stomach not closing fully). The most appropriate way to respond to a positive or elevated screen is to follow it with a level III (detailed) fetal anatomy ultrasound to look for any markers of the disorder. In the case of spina bifida, the final diagnosis is made by ultrasound. This diagnosis requires counseling for the appropriate treatment. It also is important to know the diagnosis so that the pediatricians can prepare to best care for infants at delivery and parents can prepare for a child with special needs.