Prenatal testing for maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein

E. J. Schwager, Barry D Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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