Alphabetaprotein levels


Q: I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and have just received results for my alpha-fetaprotein test. The results came back higher than they should have been.....69 instead of 39. I am a Canadian living in Italy and my gynocologist did not suggest I do a different test such as the amnio or triple screen test, the latter of which may not be available here. I am quite worried. I have done research on the internet and I have read that I am possibly 1 to 2 out of 50 women who are at risk of carrying a child with some form of birth defect related to the spine. Can you please offer me some advice. Should I consult another gynocologist or need I not worry so much?


A:   I understand how worried you are about your high Maternal Serum AFP levels.  First of all, let me reassure you that this is a screening test and is not a diagnostic test.
As a screening test, this will only suggest your physician that a possibility of open neural tube defect or other defects might be present. This test combined with your age and further testing might rule out the possibility definitely. I agree with you that most results are false negative but if you want to feel more comfortable and rule out a possible condition i would suggest you to re test, if this time the results come back high again, the next step would be triple test and possibly a 3d ultrasound.

Related Q&A

Q: Is there some kind of examination that can be done to see if a male has the "bell clapper deformity"? I kno...

Q: Please don't publish this question. My wife had an ultrasound that placed her at 9 weeks 2 days pregnant (concep...

Q: Ok. So I stopped my period and the day after I had sex with my boyfriend and he came inside me.. But I missed 5 days ...

Q: Is it safe that i am pregnant while taking dilantin as my maintenance for my seizure

Q: How much does the Rhlg shot costs? I'M -O and my husband is + AB. Do I have to wait for the 28 weeks to get the shot?...


Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon