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OBJECTIVE To determine whether high levels of serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) predict increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth (before 37 weeks), preterm birth occurring at or before 28 weeks, small for gestational age (SGA) infant, preeclampsia, and placental abnormalities, and to determine whether low levels of serum AFP predict(More)
BACKGROUND As maternal age advances, the risk of fetal Down's syndrome increases. Pregnant women 35 years of age or older are routinely offered amniocentesis because of this risk. Recently, maternal serum markers have been reported to be useful in screening for Down's syndrome, primarily in younger women. We therefore investigated whether offering(More)
BACKGROUND The finding of an elevated level of maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein during the second trimester of pregnancy may indicate that the fetus has died or is about to die. It is uncertain, however, whether the finding is associated with an increased risk of fetal death later in gestation independent of known causes of elevation, such as the presence(More)
Beginning in 1977, numerous studies have reported an association between high levels of maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein, measured in early pregnancy, and low birthweight and perinatal death. It has been suggested, however, that these findings may be explained by bias. We reviewed 21 studies and found that they were unanimous in reporting this association(More)
The California AFP Screening Program was developed to offer pregnant women the opportunity to have their pregnancies screened for open neural tube defects (NTD). Because it is unwise to withhold potentially important clinical information about low MS-AFP results from the screened women and their physicians, follow-up diagnostic evaluations and counseling(More)
OBJECTIVE To study the chromosome abnormality rate among women with elevated levels of maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) and the types of chromosome abnormalities in this population, and to compare this rate with reports in the literature and the rate observed in the general population. METHODS We studied 8097 women who chose to undergo(More)
Between January 1988 and June 1990, 161 cases of open spina bifida were identified by the California Maternal Serum alpha-Fetoprotein Screening Program. Eight percent of these cases were not diagnosed by an initial ultrasonographic evaluation. Three defects were not recognized until birth. Ultrasonography is inadequate to identify all cases of open spina(More)
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