The maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein level should be measured in all pregnant women at 16 to 20 weeks of gestation. Elevated alpha-fetoprotein levels require evaluation by ultrasonography and, sometimes, amniocentesis to detect neural tube defects. Low alpha-fetoprotein levels may be associated with chromosomal anomalies and should be evaluated with amniocentesis. Alpha-fetoprotein testing is cost-effective, and medicolegal liability makes it imperative to offer this screening test to all pregnant women.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||American Family Physician|
|Publication status||Published - 1987|
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