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Prenat Diagn. 1989 Oct;9(10):701-7.

Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein and fetal triploidy.

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Memorial Women's Hospital, Long Beach, California.


Fetal triploidy is commonly found in early pregnancy. The majority of these pregnancies spontaneously abort in the first trimester. Occasionally, the pregnancy progresses to the second and third trimesters. We reviewed the maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP), amniotic fluid alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), amniotic fluid acetylcholinesterase (ACHE), fetal pathology, and placental pathology in sex second-trimester pregnancies complicated by fetal triploidy. Four of these patients had MSAFP values greater than 7.5 multiples of the median (MoM). Five of six pregnancies had MSAFP values greater than 2.25 MoM. All five of these patients had a partial mole. Four patients had amniotic fluid AFP values greater than 2.0 MoM. Two fetuses had associated neural tube defects. These were the only patients with positive amniotic fluid ACHE. None of the other patients had fetuses with anomalies that are known to be associated with an elevated MSAFP. The elevated MSAFP appeared to be related to the presence of a partial mole. Two of the five cases with an MSAFP greater than 2.25 MoM did not have sonographic evidence of a significant anomaly. Therefore, karyotyping can be of benefit in evaluating patients with elevated MSAFP.

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