Pregnancy Associated Plasma Protein-A (PAPP-A) is synthesized by trophoblasts and released into the mother's bloodstream during pregnancy. Women with low blood levels of PAPP-A at 8 to 14 weeks of gestation have an increased risk of intrauterine growth inhibition, trisomy 21, preterm labor, preeclampsia and stillbirth. This protein increases rapidly during the first trimester of normal pregnancy, whereas in women with Down Syndrome embryos, serum levels of PAPP-A are half that of normal pregnancies. In addition, low levels of PAPP-A in maternal serum during the first trimester of pregnancy are associated with adverse effects on the fetus, including intrauterine death and intrauterine growth retardation.
The measurement of PAPP-A in combination with the measurement of free β-HCG is used to statistically estimate the occurrence of chromosomal abnormalities (Down syndrome) in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Positive test result: Trisomy 21, trisomy 18, neural tube abnormalities, abdominal wall abnormalities, coronary atherosclerotic disease.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.