Maternal serum alpha fetoprotein (MSAFP) is a screening test that examines the level of alpha fetoprotein (AFP) in a pregnant woman. AFP is produced by both the yolk sac and foetal liver during pregnancy.
Ideally, all pregnant women should undergo the screening test between 15-20 weeks gestation. The test is, however, recommended in:
- advanced maternal age
- previous births or pregnancy with chromosomal or congenital birth defects
- family history of chromosomal or congenital birth defects
- maternal diabetes
MSAFP is often part of the triple (AFP, Estriol, and human chorionic gonadotropin) or quadruple screening tests (AFP, estriol, human chorionic gonadotropin and Inhibin A) for congenital birth defects.
Elevated MSAFP can be seen in:
- 1. Öztürk H, Erkaya S, Altınbaş S, Karadağ B, Vanlı Tonyalı N, Özkan D. The role of unexplained high serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels in the second trimester to determine poor obstetric outcomes. (2014) Turkish journal of obstetrics and gynecology. 11 (3): 142-147. doi:10.4274/tjod.00922 - Pubmed
- 2. Correction to Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2019; published online March 1. DOI:10.1016/ S2213-8587(19)30066-X. (2019) The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology. 7 (5): e5. doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(19)30109-3 - Pubmed
- 3. Oluwaseun O. Adigun, Shailesh Khetarpal. Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP, Maternal Serum Alpha Fetoprotein, MSAFP). (2019) Pubmed