Triple marker test is also known as a triple test, multiple marker test, multiple marker screening, and AFP plus test so don’t confuse, if you listen any of the test names from a doctor.

Women perform many tests before and after the pregnancy to confirm the pregnancy and to know the development of the baby. Many cases doctors can’t identify any genetic abnormality of the baby so they prefer to do triple marker tests which gives accurate genetic information of baby.

The triple marker test is one of the tests to know any genetic abnormality of the baby in the fetus. So that parents are take proper precautions before the birth of any abnormal baby.

What is the triple marker test?

Triple marker test or you can say triple marker screening test are the simple blood test. In this test blood taken from the arm of pregnant women to check three important factors e.i alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and estriol. Let us know what are these factors?

What is alpha-fetoprotein and Impact to pregnancy?

AFP or alpha-fetoprotein is portions of water produce in developing fetus and small amounts From liver scrounging the fetus. When the development of baby starts its amount is increase and some amount is passes through the mother’s blood. AFP is also found in amniotic fluid which is protect the baby and the exchange of nutrients, water, and mineral between mother to fetus.

There are some general ideas about alpha-fetoprotein so now discuss if the concentration of AFP level is increased or decrease, what are possibilities may arise.

In the triple test if you found level of AFP is down or increase then you facing serious birth defect and other abnormal condition.

Neural tube defect like serious conditions may arise. Due to neural tube defect improper development of the spine, spinal cord, and brain of the baby.

Down syndrome like genetic disorder may occur, delaying of development of the baby.

If you seen the concentration of AFP level is more then there are chances of a tween. Or premature birth may occur.

Blood pulled out

What is Human chorionic gonadotropin?

human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG is secreted from the syncytiotrophoblastic cells which is found in the early embryo. At first stage of pregnancy, this hormone is produced, some amount is pass through blood and urine. The concentration of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone is double every 1-3 days till 8-10 weeks then gradually decreased.

Starting of pregnancy level is 2 IU/L and at the 10 weeks it came to 100000. Then gradually reduce and maintained 10000.

If triple test result show HCG Level is low, there are the chances of the miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. When HCG level is increasing, chances of molar pregnancy or multiple pregnancies.

Estriol is also known as oestriol which is a hormone secreted from fetus and placenta. In the triple marker test if you found estriol level is low there are chances of Down syndrome or Edward’s syndrome.

When is triple marker screening test done?

Doctor advice to pregnant women perform the triple marker test in between 15 -20 weeks. But if you doing this test in 16-18 week you can get more accurate result. After giving the blood sample this test is take 2-3 days to provide the result.

Why the triple test is performed in between 16-18 weeks?

If you perform the test before 16 week, this test is not given proper information about risk management due wrong calculation in software. According to MTP Act in India you can’t perform this test after 20 Week. So the triple test is performed between 16 week to 18 weeks.

Is multiple marker test necessary?

Doctor advise to pregnant women for the Triple marker test to know any birth defect in future or chromosomal abnormality of baby in fetus. There are no any side effect to perform this test. So all the pregnant women are doing this triple test for better clarity. But doctor strongly recommended the test to those women age more than 35 year or any family history.


What is the normal range of multiple marker test?

According to Indian journal of medical research triple marker test normal rage for AFP is 1.38 to 187.00 IU/ml, for hCGβ 1.06 to 315 ng/ml and 0.25 to 28.5 nmol/l for uE3, for all the women whose age is 18-47 year.

Which test is better double marker and triple marker?

Double marker test is perform to check HCG level and PPA level in between 8- 14 weeks. But triple marker test perform to know the level of three different type of hormone in between 15-21 week.

Some people are not doing to doctor at yearly stage of pregnancy so they are miss the chance of performing double marker test for those people triple marker test is one option.

Both the test are different value according to situation and patient.

What if multiple marker test is positive?

if you found test is positive that means there are some problem in fetus, may be neuronal defect of baby or down syndrome or Edward syndrome, miscarriage may happened. Some doctor recommended ultrasound to know more details of baby. Parents are take care of him and her baby by following doctors advice.

What is the cost of multiple marker test?

Cost of the triple marker test is 850 – 4500 Rupees in India. Average cost of the test is 2000 rupess across the india. But its cost is vary in different state and medical. Chennai and Hyderabad some lab are charges 850 rupees which is lowest prices in india. Where as Kurnool, Mumbai and kochi are charges minimum price as 2500 rupess.

Blood sample collected
Blood sample collected


What type of precaution take before the triple test?

Before doing the test consult with you physician and give the proper information about family detail and history of your family and correct time of pregnancy, which is helps the doctor for proper treatment. Always choose the doctor which have more experience. Now a days doctor are more busy with patient due to more patient.

To avoid the contamination of blood sample and any infection which is harm to fetus use the new sterilize needle and antiseptic and antibacterial agent.

What is the sensitivity of the triple marker test?

The sensitivity of the test is 70% which means 30% of the results are not given correctly. If you add one more test like inhibin A, then sensitivity increases up to 76%. There are one more test like NT scan is performed with this test then sensitivity is increase up to 94% which gives you a more accurate result.

Triple Marker test report

What are the limitation of triple test?

Triple test result is showing abnormally in some cases if you not sure the correct time of pregnancy. Because all the risk management are calculated on the basis of time of pregnancy.

Multiple pregnancy cases this test is not given the correct results.

What are other Recommended Test?

if you found the test result is normal then its ok, but for more confirmation, you can perform NT Scan.

you must try NT scan (target scan) if you found high risk in triple marker test. if NT scan result is normal then no further test is required. Any abnormal result in target scan observed then perform amniocentesis or NIPS test which gives more accurate result about pregnancy.

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Double Marker Test Benefits, Risk, Cost & More