Positive Results from Prenatel down Syndrome Test

Updated on February 04, 2011
F.R. asks from Lake in the Hills, IL
16 answers

Hi ladies,
I am 33 years old and 21 weeks pregnant. I just came back from my Gyno. He said that my Prenatel fetal ultrasound results are all good and baby looks healthy. Down syndrome is negative. BUT my blood test screening came out positive. He said, starting at 32 weeks, i will have to go for special monitoring for heartbeat of the baby. Is this something i have to worry about?

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So What Happened?

Additional Details
i talked to my Dr yesterday and got more info...He said when Triple test results come positive, (not dangerously +ve), they have their patient go for Level II ultrasound. Which i had. Since my blood test was positive, he sent me for level II, which came negative. Actually i went to Fetal Development expert to have ultrasound done. Who handles high risk pregnancy.. I dont know if they are called geneticist?

he didn't recommend me for Amniocentesis.
The triple test consist of 3 tests. Down syndrome which was +ve, Trisomy which was -ve and Spine Bifidia which was -ve. So one out of 3 was positive..
now i am thinking, if the ultrasound is all clear then why there was down syndrome positive.. I am hoping it was a false positive...

Featured Answers



answers from Boston on

I had that same test done come out positive the other way. Spina Bifida?? Anyway, they told me it might have been because I was tested too early? I had it done again and it came out fine. Just ask for a retest in another week or two and see what happens.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I never let them do that blood test on me. They have more false positives than actual positives. It is an extremely faulty test, at best. It makes me so mad because so many mothers have added an extremely high amount of stress to their pregnancy due to that horrible test. If everything else looks good, I would totally ignore those results. I also wouldn't do any extra monitoring because it is asking for trouble. My guess is that you will end up with a C-section based on what you have shared. Please read the book, The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, by Henci Goer. Your eyes will be opened up to what is happening to you. Blessings, dear F.. Relax and enjoy your pregnancy. Such a gift you have!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

My doctor always discouraged doing any of those tests because there is such a high rate of FALSE positives...... The only way to know is to do an amnio. Or wait till the baby is born. I wouldn't worry about it until you have proof. Best wishes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My understanding, is that unless you've had an amnio done, there is no definitive way to tell if the baby will have any defect or challenges.
I may be wrong.
But all I've ever heard is how the testing that's available outside of an amnio is very unreliable and often inaccurate. It goes by percentages of percentages, and most of the time the baby is healthy.
Please don't quote me on that. That's just based on discussions I've had through 2 kids with my OB. We've always chose to avoid the testing because of the inaccuracies.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I had that bloodwork done with my first child and it also came out positive. When I had my ultrasound down they measured the size of the babies heart and it was normal (down syndrome causes an enlarged heart) I chose not to have the amnio. test because I felt it was too much of a risk to find out something that I could not change. My second child I chose not to have that test done because the only reason they test for deformaties is to give the mother the option of termanating the pregnancy and personally I think that is wrong. Your child is going to be born and you have no control over how healthy or unhealthy it is going to be. I think that it is unessisary to worry about things that you can not control. You have enough to worry about so let nature take it course and you can cross that bridge when you get there. By the way my first child came out 100% healthy with no abnormalities. All that worring for nothing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My baby is twenty years old. They told me he was in all likelihood a Downs Syndrome child. They told me to have an abortion. I told them to do something else. I prepared for it, waited for it and received a wonderful 9 lb 3 oz baby boy who was not Down's Syndrome and am glad I had him forever. do what you are supposed to do, try to enjoy being pregnant and whatever happens, life is so fixable. I work with Down's syndrome children now and they are the most precious, often stubborn but comical people on earth. We really don't get to choose our babies, but we can choose how we react to these things on earth. I am the number one fan of moms with Children who are Down's everywhere.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

The reason that they do the ultrasound to measure the baby's head, heart and nose is b/c of the inaccuracy rate of the blood work. We actually didn't do the bloodwork for this reason... better results the "old fashioned way"- actually having the doctor take a look!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

I had wacked out blood test results for all three of my kids (all healthy and I was over 35 for all) as did many other moms I know. The blood tests (inconclusive) led to amnios where you'll hear the real deal. I did an amnio the first 2 times, but the third time, I was so sick of the hype, I didn't even do the blood tests. Don't worry about the blood tests. Get an amnio if you are concerned. The ultrasound is excellent news. I had really high risk blood results with my son. The doc measured everything in the ultrasound and he looked good, but the specialist kept spelling out my high risk blood high risk blood high risk blood tests. So I risked miscarriage to do the dumb amnio which is still on our medical debt since we have no insurance. He's as healthy as they come thank God. Sometimes I think we have too much technology involved in prenatal care.



answers from Springfield on

I am 25 weeks along, and facing the same situation with my second pregnancy. I'm 36 and my triple screen was positive. My doctor said not to panic, as a positive result is common when the mom is over 35, and the baby would not cooperate with the ultrasound, which decreased the accuracy of the test; my odds were something like 1 in 200 that I had a baby with Down's. She sent me for the level 2 ultrasound, which was repeated a month later and because there were no physical markers for Down's either time, the odds dropped to 1 in 150.

I did not want to take the miscarriage risk with the amniocentesis, so unfortunately there is no way to know for sure until the baby is born. But I am OK with that. Good luck to you.



answers from Pittsburgh on

If you would continue the pregnancy if you will have a Trisomy 21 baby then you just follow your ob's advice. If you would not, you need an amniocentesis. And while some people chose to have a Down's baby most do not (91-93% of Downs pregnancies in Europe and the UK are terminated, don't know the number in the US). This is your choice. And yes children with Trisomy 21 are generally happy. But they also have a 50% incidence of heart defects, increased risk of leukemias and dementia, gastrointestinal blockages and sleep apnea. You also need to consider the time commitment, financial considerations and plan for the possibility that a Downs baby could outlive you - who will provide care then?



answers from Washington DC on

Hi had the same issue with my second daughter. Sono's were fine but blood test was positive. I have a blood clotting disorder that requires me to take blood thinning shots in my stomach during pregnancies therefore the amnio would have been too risky. I had weekly sonograms anyway with both of my pregnancies in order to monitor for possible clots in the baby and/or cord. They did do specific sono's and monitored heart closely. Apparently there is a very common heart defect that appears in baby's with down syndrome. I will tell you I initially panicked at the thought of something being wrong with my baby. After speaking with our perinatologist I was relieved to find out that there are a lot of false positive results. I just tried to relax myself and wait for the sono which by the grace of God came back completely normal. I offer you the same advice my DR game me. "Your job is too eat right, drink plenty or water, take your vitamins, and get plenty of rest. My job is to worry if/when I feel there is something for you to be concerned about I will tell you." Good Luck and God Bless.



answers from Chicago on

There really aren't solid "positive" or "negative" results with these screenings...there are only estimates based on a number of factors, one being your age. My bloodwork with baby #2 came back with a result of 1:54 chance of my baby having Down Syndrome - pretty high. Basically most people would call that a "positive." Anyway I also had several extra ultrasounds, growth and heartbeat checks. My baby was also found to have a single umbilical artery, one of the chromosomal abnormality markers they look for at the 20 week ultrasound. All things would look strongly toward my baby having Down Syndrome.

That baby is now 19 months old. She goes to soccer class, climbs on everything she's not supposed to, is the love of our lives, and does not have Down Syndrome or any other chromosomal problems or medical problems at all. In short, she's perfect (ask me about that again when she's 13 though haha). It's almost tragic the worry that doctors today put pregnant women through in order to cover themselves liability-wise. I think that any parent who does have a child with Down Syndrome probably thinks that child is perfect too - and they are. We can't change what we're dealt. BUT your baby has a very slim chance of having Down Syndrome. It's so rare, honestly.

Don't stress and take great care of yourself. :)



answers from Chicago on

I also tested positive for downs my result was either 1 or 2 in 153. I opted out for the amnio and prepared for the worst but I have a beautiful 6yr old now that came out healthy and without downs. Don't panic a lot of people test positive. Its pretty common. I'd also suggest a midwife. The Doctor doing my ultrasound was pressuring me for an amnio and trying to talk me into an abortion, saying horrible things. He caused nothing but my very first panic attack on that visit. Turned out he was the practice owner, so not much to do there but request never to be seen by him again. Some people have no heart. I went with my gut and the sound advise of the midwife not to risk the amnio.



answers from New York on

I assume you are talking about either the AFP test or the Nuchal Translucency Test when you talk about your blood test screening. As others have said, these tests only give you odds, not a definitive answer. If nothing unusal was seen on the ultrasound, odds are your baby is healthy.

HOWEVER - what exactly did the blood test screen positive for? Was it a neural tube defect (spina bifida, anencephaly) or a chromosomal one (Down Syndrome/T21, Turner Syndrome/T18, etc)? Neural Tube Defects can usually be seen clearly on ultrasound, whereas chromosomal defects can SOMETIMES be seen, but not always. For chromosomal defects, the only way to be sure is to have an amnio done. At 21 weeks, you should still be able to schedule one.

I would also ask, what exactly are they screening the baby's heart for? You need to know the answers to these questions before you can make an informed decision. Good luck and please let us know how it turns out.



answers from Minneapolis on

Like everyone else so far has mentioned, there is an extreme likelihood that all is fine with your baby. That said, if your baby does turn out with a diagnosis of Down Syndrome here is a really inspiration blog about a mom who was caught completely off guard when she delivered a baby girl last year with the condition. http://www.kellehampton.com/p/nellas-birth-story.html

Wishing you & your little one all the best!



answers from Chicago on

I had the tests done that would be worth the time, money, and worry because I knew what I would do with the results.
It sounds like you have inconclusive information. Depending on how the results will affect you is how much you should seek out the next step. It is always a good idea (imho) to seek out information now before you have the baby so you know all your options.

ps The docs don't make money on the bloodwork, the labs do, but they do get money for you coming in for multiple visits--depending on how they bill. Both my ob/gyn and my midwife's offices only billed for the entire set of services not individual visits.
best to you--find a good support network to help you handle the info.

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