So What Can an AFP Test Let You Know About Your Child


Alpha Fetoprotein test(AFP) Test results mean & normal range (Clear explanation)

Video taken from the channel: MEDI LAB ZONE


Maternal Serum Screening (MSS)

Video taken from the channel: Washington State Department of Health


What is the purpose of an AFP Test?

Video taken from the channel: Humain Health


Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP) Test Screening Procedure, Test Results and Purpose

Video taken from the channel:


Focus on Health: AFP Screening

Video taken from the channel: Virginia Women’s Center



Video taken from the channel: Krystie Arroyo


Advanced prenatal genetic testing

Video taken from the channel: Northwell Health

One of the screening tests that is typically done during pregnancy is the alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test, also called the maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) test. It’s generally done as part of the triple screen test, which also contains an hCG test and estriol test, and helps to. Unborn babies normally make alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), and it shows up in their mother’s blood.

Checking the level of AFP in a mom-to-be can show if her baby may have problems with their neural tub. What this means is that it can give you an idea of the *risk* that your baby has a given condition, but it cannot tell you *whether* your baby has that condition. ”False positive” results (where the AFP showed an elevated risk, but the baby is entirely normal and healthy) are very common. AFP is a test used to check for birth defects in your baby. AFP is a protein made by your baby during pregnancy.

This passes into your blood and can be used to spot problems with your baby while in the womb. To test AFP levels, a blood sample is taken from you. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a protein produced in the liver of a developing fetus. During a baby’s development, some AFP passes through the placenta and into the mother’s blood. An AFP test measures the level of AFP in pregnant women during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Too much or too little AFP in a mother’s blood may be sign of a birth defect or other condition. Since the test is noninvasive, if you’re worried about your baby’s health only because of your age, this test is a good option. Your family has a history of developmental irregularities at birth.

AFP tests can also check for birth defects in an unborn baby. Doctors may test spinal fluid for AFP, too, depending on what they’re looking for. AFP is a protein normally made by the immature liver cells in the fetus. Healthy, nonpregnant adults have very low levels of AFP in the bloodstream (undetectable to about 10 ng/ml). At birth, infants have relatively high levels of AFP in the blood, which fall to normal low adult levels by the first year of life.

Can the AFP blood test determine what sex your baby is?? I just read about someone getting a call back about their AFP results and also being told the sex of the baby at the same time Update: Nevermind, I just called the doctors office, they can tell with an amnio but not the AFP. Answer Save.

2 Answers. Relevance. NIcole V. 1 decade ago. Alpha-fetoprotein (al-fa-FETO-pro-teen) can be found with a blood test and is also called AFP.

AFP is an important fetal (FEE-tal) serum protein that disappears soon after birth. It returns in pregnant women. It can also appear as a tumor marker in other adults.

List of related literature:

A high level of AFP after week 16 usually indicates that the fetus has a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida or anencephaly.

“Principles of Anatomy and Physiology” by Gerard J. Tortora, Bryan H. Derrickson
from Principles of Anatomy and Physiology
by Gerard J. Tortora, Bryan H. Derrickson
Wiley, 2018

AFP measurements in maternal serum are used for early diagnosis of fetal neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

“Mosby's Comprehensive Review of Practical Nursing for the NCLEX-PN® Exam E-Book” by Mary O. Eyles
from Mosby’s Comprehensive Review of Practical Nursing for the NCLEX-PN® Exam E-Book
by Mary O. Eyles
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

Serum AFP measurement is believed to increase accuracy of antenatal detection of Down syndrome from 35% to 67%, but its accuracy can be affected by maternal weight, smoking history, and diabetes mellitus and by whether the gestational age of the fetus is correctly estimated.

“Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures E-Book” by Cynthia C. Chernecky, Barbara J. Berger
from Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures E-Book
by Cynthia C. Chernecky, Barbara J. Berger
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2012

AFP is measured to detect neural tube defects in a fetus.

“Clinical Chemistry E-Book: Fundamentals and Laboratory Techniques” by Donna Larson
from Clinical Chemistry E-Book: Fundamentals and Laboratory Techniques
by Donna Larson
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015

Maternal serum AFP test at about 16–18 weeks b.

“Smart Study Series:Obstetrics & Gynecology E-Book” by PUNIT S BHOJANI
from Smart Study Series:Obstetrics & Gynecology E-Book
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014

AFP is elevated when the fetus has a major central nervous system

“An Introduction to Human Disease: Pathology and Pathophysiology Correlations” by Leonard V. Crowley
from An Introduction to Human Disease: Pathology and Pathophysiology Correlations
by Leonard V. Crowley
Jones and Bartlett, 2007

In young patients, blood tests should include serum hCG and AFP levels, a complete blood count, and liver function tests.

“Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine 8” by Waun Ki Hong, Robert C. Bast Jr, American Association for Cancer Research, William Hait, Donald W. Kufe, James F. Holland, Emil Frei Iii
from Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine 8
by Waun Ki Hong, Robert C. Bast Jr, et. al.
People’s Medical Publishing House, 2010

Maternal serum AFP testing thus provides a screening method to identify pregnancies at high risk or to estimate the numerical risk of having a fetus with an open NTD.

“Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics E-Book” by Nader Rifai
from Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics E-Book
by Nader Rifai
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2018

Explain that the AFP level is determined by a maternal blood sample that is drawn at 15 to 18 weeks’ gestation.

“Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN® Examination E-Book” by Linda Anne Silvestri
from Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN® Examination E-Book
by Linda Anne Silvestri
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2012

A small amount of blood is taken from the mother’s arm and sent to a laboratory, where the levels of AFP are measured.

“The New Harvard Guide to Women's Health” by Karen J. Carlson, Stephanie A. Eisenstat, Stephanie A. Eisenstat, M.D., Terra Diane Ziporyn, Alvin & Nancy Baird Library Fund, Harvard University. Press
from The New Harvard Guide to Women’s Health
by Karen J. Carlson, Stephanie A. Eisenstat, et. al.
Harvard University Press, 2004

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

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  • This video came to me at the perfect moment. I got the call with my results today and am meeting with a genetic specialist tomorrow. Over the phone I was told my baby is high risk for Down syndrome, they told me it was a 1 in 50 chance, instead of the normal 1 in 100. I am 25 and this is my first pregnancy, and I am so terrified. But just like you, I would never ever terminate my pregnancy just because of that. I am hopeful that I got a false positive, and am trying to think of every and any question I can ask the specialist tomorrow.

  • Thanks for this video. My wife and I are going through this now. Her NIPT results came back inconclusive (she went in today for a retest) however they said it looks to be due to low fetal fraction. Now she also had an NT scan ultrasound which she was told the measurement was within normal range. Trying not to jump to conclusions until we get new blood results, but hoping does not come back inconclusive again. Hoping no result does not mean higher chance of positive result. We know she is high risk due to her age and higher than average BMI, but hoping for the best…

  • Madam mera abhi 14 week chal raha hai or first baby main hearing loss hai abhi mujhe ek infection ya viral hua jise mujhe fever tha or boby pe red spot ho gaye to kya abhi bhi risk hai baby ko yya koi ese test jo pata Lagene ki baby ke sare organ thik hai. Ap bataye kya karna chaiye

  • I’m also going through this type of situation….my screening test result is positive and we are (me & my husband) are waiting for further test.. your video helped me a lot to stay positive. ♥️From India.

  • Came across this video because I just got my test results back & it came back abnormal & I’m worried now too �� all we can do is pray to our heavenly father & ask him to protect out baby while in the womb not that down syndrome is the most awful thing but its just scary & sad not knowing

  • My blood test just came back a week ago positive for down syndrome but in my heart I feel she doesn’t have down syndrome. My first blood work was normal this one’s positive. I’m doing the amotesis test. But my baby did get diagnosed with vsd a hole in her heart. I’m 27 weeks. I’m praying the blood work is wrong for down syndrome. But eaither way I will love her I feel at pieace when I got the call I was a wreck that day but I couldn’t be sad after that. I’m worried and stressed but when I do worry I get this sensation of pieace.�� I pray ur blood work is wrong to..

  • Thank you for making this video I just got my results from my blood test and tested for trisomy13 and I felt so hopeless when I got that call.

  • Your video helped me out so much thank you for making this! I’ve been so emotional all day today…I’m so confused, I got the call today that my blood work was abnormal so I went to my doctors office right away. I thought maybe I had something because my first test was negative and the second came back positive?? Did not expect that…any thoughts??

  • My test came as 1:125 which is high risk of Down Syndrome. But my gut feelings say its false. On friday I am doing diagnostic test to get accurate result.

  • Hi I just have a question to ask. I had my prenatal screening test last May 6 and result came out positive high risk for down syndrome then I had an NIPT on May 12 then I got a call from my OB-GYN that everything was fine that everythint came out as low risk.. does low risk means negative result?

  • I’m going threw this now my heart is ripping apart slowly my trisomy was positive and my baby has just a little extra fluid behind neck first ultrasound said baby had nose bone yesterday I went for my amniocentesis and the didn’t find a nose bone I just don’t know what to think. Me estoy muriendo por dentro. But everything else in the ultrasound is fine but those 2 markers are important in my eyes

  • I found this video and it’s really helpful. This is my first child and they also told me I have a positive screening but my ultrasound was completely normal. Now I’m waiting to take a test to be on the safe side.

  • Did you test positive for trisomy 21? I got a call and they told me I’m a high risk of Down syndrome because it came back positive for trisomy 21. I am praying and praying this is just a false positive ���������������� please let me know.

  • I’m 19 years old pregnant with my first baby. And I’m dealing with this same issues my blood test came back positive for downs syndrome 1 out of 75. I’m waiting for more test results to come back but I’m extremely worried.

  • This video makes me happy I believe in god my baby will be healthy I pray all other parents going through the same in Jesus name I pray Amen Amen

  • I just got a call today that I am high risk for Down syndrome. I’ve been crying all day, not because baby is not loved but because I don’t know what’ the next steps are, this is baby #5 and never had tested positive for DS.

  • I’m 25 and got a NIPT test for high risk for Trisomy2. I’m 12 weeks pregnant and it’s a girl. I had a previous pregnancy and miscarried at 10w5d and I found out that baby had Trisomy21 and girl as well. I hope that the results are negative after further testing. Not sure why this is happening I have two healthy boys. But I’m going to get a Nt scan on Monday. I’m going crazy right now I’m scared but my husband has so much hope.

  • I’m going through the same thing right now and I’m finding it absolutely devastating �� Im going for the level 2/full anatomy ultrasound on 30 April and possibly an amnio. I’m terrified. It’s a long wait til then:(

  • I’m 19 weeks pregnant. I did my panorama genetics test for 3 times, at first at 11 weeks, 13 weeks and the last one 17 weeks and It all came back high risk (no results, because of low fetal fractions) now doctor wants me to do another ultrasound because I refused for amniocentesis. No matter what is the result I’m going to keep my baby. Thank you for this video ❤

  • Omg I’m going through the same. I did my ultrasound everything looks great ���� I did a quad screening and doctor told me I’m 1.28 risk of Down syndrome. I’m dying inside �� I hope my boy is healthy can’t wait to follow up with the rest process. I hope you have a healthy baby

  • I’m 26 and 17 weeks pregnant and I just talked to my midwife today and my blood test for DS came back positive 1:22, this is my first baby and I’m so stressed out now I have a ultrasound and an amino test I’m hoping in 2 days. Please keep us in your prayers❤️! I’m so stressed and sad.

  • Honestly this is why I chose to not have this test done because of the chance of false positives. Yeah it’s nice knowing the sex of the baby early but given news that your child may have Down syndrome makes you worry your whole pregnancy. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  • Today while I was at work my doctor called me to inform me that the first down syndrome blood test came back positive for our baby girl and I just broke down at work. Thats what brought me to this video. We go back friday for more test and im terrified its not that being down syndrome is bad its just knowing how hard this world already is I don’t want to watch my baby girl hurt and me not being able to take the pain away from her ���� Thank you for sharing y’alls story it has calmed alot of my nerves down.

  • Me I have the same situation my NT is 3.3 mm the doctor said to me there is the chance to your baby have Down’s Syndrome???? My question is how much was the NT for your baby girl thanks

  • Today they told me I have high risk of the baby having Down syndrome, I’m devastated. I have to go to an specialist to make an omniocintesis ( they take a huge scary needle through my bellybutton to take dna from the baby) the doctor explained that after this procedure the risk of miscarriage is 50/50. I am a mother of a beautiful and healthy 15 year old daughter from a previous relationship. My husband and I been together for 11 years he doesn’t have any kids and my baby would be the first grand baby. Your video gives me so much hope that everything is going to be ok

  • Right now. My heart is broken. And I’am confused. I’ve been crying since I had the news about my baby have Down’s syndrome. Am already 13 weeks pregnant. And this isn’t my first child. I couldn’t believe the Doctor, so I went for a blood test today. I have to wait after 15 days for the RESULTS to come out. I pray for negative results in Jesus name…….. I need you all to help me out in prayer. Please help me am going crazy right now.��������������������������������

  • I was 24 when I had my baby who has down syndrome. My youngest of 3 boys. He’s 15 now and he has blessed our family in every way possible. I was scary at first but we have an amazing family, doctors, and our community is outstanding. I dont feel sorry for having him. I could not see my life without him.

  • I know 3 couples who terminated their pregnancys when they were told their baby had down syndrom and they all seem to not regret it because they say that baby would of suffered much more ��

  • hii krystiiee i am so emotional now when i watch your video:( i had same situation i have one baby boy with who i had experience with placenta abruptio and now i am 16 weeks preganant with baby girll and my first screening test was positive 1;100 risk. ia m 27 i dont know from where why? day after tommorow i am have amnio test hope for only good. baby girs is my dream bu

  • Tomorrow I have a downsyndrome test at13 week. My in-laws told me if it will be positive then just abort it. But I don’t want to abort

  • I would not judge anyone who chose to ABORT. I know nobody wants to do that or hear that but this life is hard… putting a child with special needs through school would be even harder, finding the right daycare would be hard as well. Its over all hard on the mothers health/ mental health/ parents could divorce due to the cost…

  • I’m terrified. I had my first sono at 18 weeks. I was told his NT Scan measured 14mm. Anything above 6mm is abnormal. I had blood drawn for genetic testing (Maternal Serum Fetal Screening assessment). So I was scheduled another sono at 19 weeks. They gave me the results from the blood test and they said I was high risk 1:80. the Sono at my 19 weeks sono his NT Scan measured down to 8mm. They said he had a hole in his heart and no visible nose cartilage. All indicators of down syndrome. I’m heartbroken. They tell me as if its a sure thing he has it. I have an amniocentisis tomorrow. I don’t know if that will change anything. Is it still possible for him to be delivered healthy.

  • I’m going through this now! I’m not losing hope she’s my first daughter and she’s going to be so over protected by her 2 older brothers who r gna love her so much regardless of any disorder she may or may not have thank u I needed this hope

  • my wife pregnant. she have completed 19 weeks. our doc told have there is high risk shoe on report. Doc told us, we have do one test for confirm there is problem or not. they took her blood and told us for result it will take 15th to 18th days. we are not able to sleep at night. Only think about result. we don’t know what we have to do ��

  • You guys are so freaking awesome. Going through the same thing righnow with my wife. She’s Almost 19wks and we got the phone call yesterday that our baby came back positive for down syndrome from the first exam. Don’t know what awaits for us but we will schedule to have another one done. Anyways thank you for making videos like this and thank you all who commented and shared your stories as well. Gave me hope and I can’t wait to be a father.

  • My son has Down Syndrome and I wouldn’t change a thing. I never hoped for a “false positive” because I wanted him to be just how he was meant to be. I hate that people are so afraid of it and have this kind of attitude about it. Makes me sad.

  • I just got my genetic scan results back yesterday and my baby has a 1:143 chance for Down syndrome. I’m having a really hard time being able to cope because I’m 20 years old, and it doesn’t make sense to me why my baby is at such a high risk if I’m so young. Plus, I got pregnant on the iud, and I had so many complications that for weeks I didn’t know if I was going to have emergency surgery or not. This video helped me so much. You’re right, the doctors don’t really explain the results to you that well and you do kinda have to do your own research and ask questions later.

  • Hi Krystie I watched your video a few months ago when I got the same sad news as you
    Your video was so much help I prayed so much to God and had lots of faith yet I still worried a lot till the day my son was born completely healthy that quad screen has lots of false positives
    Blessings to you and your family ��

  • My quadraple test showing screen positive but ultrasound reports are normal…dont know where its going wrong. Really worried.doctors say baby may hav down syndrome. Plz pray for me….as i decided to deliver my baby next month.

  • On Tuesday I was told my baby has a 1:160 chance of Trisomy 21. Today I had to go do the NIPT to see what that comes back as and I guess if that’s high risk, I’ll be in to do an amino. I’m freaking out but trying to remind myself that it’s not a for sure thing. It’s only a possibility. Since looking into this I’ve heard the 12 week scan has so many false positives. It’s insane.

  • Same happening to me rn. Had a Dvt and was 94 pounds first test came back as possible now I’m doing the next test ultrasound twice normalI feel it’s because of the Dvt n me being very sick -now I’m 138 pounds he’s kicking like crazy but it best to take the test and know for sure. Thank you for this video!!!! ❤️

  • I had 2 high risk NIPT results due to low fetal fraction so it said baby has a 1/17 chance of trisomy 13,18 and even worse triploidy. I hope it’s a false positive as well but I don’t have much hope after the 2nd one coming back lower. I’m so glad your baby is healthy ��

  • i really hope that everyone said about false positive is true. After the ultrasound at 20wks,doctor told me that my baby doesn’t have nasal bone, so she sent me for the nipt, result came out positive. I decided to have amnio because i want fo know for sure so i can plan ahead for my baby. My heart was broken yesterday when i got a call from genetic counselor that my baby girl is have an extra trisomy 21. This is our first baby after 14 years married.

  • Gracias por este video, me siento 1 poco más calmada, hoy me llego el email con el resultado positivo, gracias a Dios pude hacer la cita con el dr para hoy, y después de lo que mencionaron de las proteínas me hace sentir un poco más segura que por eso salió positivo, tengo presion alta y siento que probablemente por eso salió positivo, solo le pido a dios que mi bebé venga lo más sano posible, enserio gracias por este video me da un poco más de calma.

  • Our blood test came back yesterday 1 in 35 down syndrome but the way I look at that is that’s 97% that there’s nothing wrong. HOPE

  • Hi I’m 24 years old pregnant with my first baby I never wanted children and the pregnancy came as a complete shock to me but after the shock I’ve become excited and happy and 2 days ago I received my blood results that I am in fact high risk for Down syndrome 1 in 180 and my world just stopped I’ve went ahead and did the non invasive blood test today and waiting for my results seeing this video makes me feel hopeful that my baby is completely healthy and all this will pass thank you ❤️

  • I found out at 12 weeks with fluid in neck was 4.1 went to 6.1.. 1 in 5 chance through bloods.. Amnio confirmed at 17 weeks.. I cried I was mourning a loss of a ‘perfect baby’ I hated my pregnancy all the way through… I was told all bad news and he’d be so ill all his life… Jax is now 3 he was born healthy and happy walks talks and is the’ perfect ‘ child �� I wouldn’t take it back he wouldn’t be him without it!! each to there own but no child is given a perfect destiny/life ds or not ��

  • Thank u for the video. I am going through this problem. The first test has found positive of down syndrome. I am really devastated and worried. Now I am waiting for the resulted to come. How hard is days becoming. My wife worried with news of the report. Please keep in prayer….

  • I heard the same thing today of course it’s hard because I had my daughter three years ago at 27 weeks due to IUGR but I trust in God and I know that regardless to whatever I’m gonna love my baby no matter what..

  • What kind of testing is this? The nipt testing? Cause I signed for this to get the “nipt” testing. I know that God will work everything out for me. I’m not going to stress when I get this testing done.

  • Hi guys, my screening which isn’t a NIPT came back as 1 in 390 which isn’t classed as high risk until it’s under 150. My nt measurement was 2.4mm which is also normal. It’s when you start googling that other people have 1in 1000 results which makes you feel worse regardless of if my results mean a 0.28 chance of downs and it’s low risk. Because of worry and other people’s words I’ve booked in for a NIPT for hopefully a more accurate testing.
    Without the internet I wouldn’t have half this worry. It’s so dangerous.

  • Dear I m also safring form this positive down syndrome in my baby for triple test in 20 weeks then dr.sugesting me for amniocentesis test but I’ m not done this test because of big risk for lose my baby I m totally blank of my mind now I’m leaving decision gods do all right plzzz guys pray for my baby plzz frnds we can’t live without him or her….this vedio a sach a nice vedio for us dear very helpful vedio for us thanks dear mam

  • Mi niña dio positivo y hasta querían que no la tuviéramos y nos mantuvimos firme sobre que naciera y gracias a Dios nació perfecta y va a cumplir 7 añitos

  • I just got a call for my first test it came high risk and i am very scared and worried I cried so much but seeing videos like this is calming me down a bit

  • Thank you for sharing. This is my first pregnancy and my first blood result shows ‘intermediate risk’ for down syndrome(1 out of 557 so that should be wayyy less than 1% right?). I will be going for an NIPT soon but the past week has been an emotional rollercoaster☹ I’m really anxious… but hopeful. I hope my baby is ok!

  • Try not to worry and downsyndrome isnt scary of course everyone wants a perfect baby and every baby is perfect in there own way.

  • Mantente positiva y confiada en Dios, mis 3 sobrinos dieron positivo tambien y los 3 gracias a Dios no nacieron con el síndrome asi que nada mejor que esperar en Dios y todo saldra bien, confia,ora y espera que con Dios solo sera otra prueba errónea.

  • Kristie stay positive and do your best the rest is in God’s hands. Everything will be fine!And Congratulations to your lovely hubby for the support he gives you! Such a sweetheart! ��❤✨

  • Your husband is so sweet and down to earth. He reminds me of my husband, he’s not a worrier. He’s positive. Nice of him to sit in a video with you.

  • I have heard alot that the test could come out positive and the baby came out completely healthy, the doctors told my brother and his wife also that they were going to have a baby with down síndrome and the baby is completely healthy they repeatedly did the blood tests and they also had confirmed it with ultrasound that there baby was coming with down syndrome and she was healthy when she was born, hopefully this is helpful for you and your husband.

  • To calculate Normal values of Alpha-Fetoprotein check our Medical Calculator

  • Wow that’s the hardest news that parents shouldn’t have to hear. So she was born with an extra DNA.. Wow I had no idea this would happen. I guess she’s going to be different from her brother

  • I was told two days ago that my baby has a lot of fluid in the back of the neck. And could possibly have down syndrome they didn’t offer me any blood test dr. Just said I had options 1. Let nature take it’s course 2. Do amnino test 3. Abort… since the baby has so much fluid and his little heart is working extra hard to stay alive. My heart is broken into a million pieces I was all alone in the office due to covid-19 receiving the most hardest news I have ever gotten in my 27 years of life. It was nothing that I did or my husband did, it was just not forming and releasing the fluid like it is suppose too.. my due date October 17th I am 16 weeks and I have yet to hear my babies heart beat.. I don’t care about the gender nor do I want to know at this point I just a healthy baby!!! Dear Lord help me ��

  • hllo mam meri wife preg hai 39week 6 days chl rhaa hai meri wife kaa blood test huyaa thaa jiski report aaj aayee hai or usme ALP 46-116 hai or meri wife kaa ALP 221 aaya hai koi problum to nee hogi naa mam pls btaao
    main army main huu wife ghr main bahut pareshaan ho rhee hai