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Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels were higher in 10 twin pregnancies and one triplet pregnancy than in 22 control singleton pregnancies matched for maternal age, parity, and the time of gestation at which the serum sample was taken. In twin pregnancies the average AFP levels were double those found in singleton pregnancies and the level in the triplet pregnancy was even higher. Raised maternal serum AFP values due to multiple pregnancy should not cause unnecessary amniocentesis in the diagnosis of anencephaly or spina bifida if an ultrasound investigation is routinely performed first.


Journal article


Br Med J

Publication Date





651 - 652


Adult, Anencephaly, Female, Fetal Proteins, Humans, Maternal Age, Parity, Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Multiple, Radioimmunoassay, Spinal Dysraphism, Time Factors, Triplets, Twins, alpha-Fetoproteins