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First Trimester Screening (FTS)

Peace of Mind

First Trimester Screening is the current recommended screening program to identify women with an increased risk of having an affected foetus with chromosomal aneuploidy such as Down syndrome
(Trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18) or Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13).

Combined FTS (cFTS) includes the Multiple of Medians (MoMs) of two blood chemistry results, pregnancy-associated placental protein-A (PAPP-A) and free β-human chorionic gonadotropin (free β-hCG), along with the ultrasound Nuchal Translucency (NT) measurement to assess the risk of aneuploidy. This assessment has 90% sensitivity and 95% specificity for Down syndrome.

Benefits of combined FTS

• Recommended by clinical guidelines for pregnant women of all age groups.
• Early detection of Down syndrome with a rate of >90%.
• Reduces the number of invasive tests.
• The test is safe.
• Non-invasive.
• It can be offered to pregnant women with failed Non-Invasive Pre-natal Testing (NIPT).
• MoM values of PAPP-A could be predictive of IUGR or Pre-eclampsia risk.

When should combined First Trimester Screening (cFTS) be tested?

• A blood chemistry test can be performed between 9 - 13 weeks of gestation (ideally performed at 10 weeks).
• An ultrasound examination is normally performed at 11 - 13 weeks of gestation (ideally performed at 12 weeks).

What are the risks of cFTS?

The blood test is non-invasive and there are no known risks to the foetus in having an ultrasound in pregnancy.

Is genetic counselling available?

Genetic counselling is offered to high risk patients at no additional cost. You will need a referral from your doctor.

When will results be available?

Results will be available within 1-2 working days following
the ultrasound scan date.

How to order?

Visit your health practitioner. They can order FTS for patients using the Clinical Labs Antenatal request form.


There may be out-of-pocket costs for both the FTS and PlGF. There is a Medicare rebate available for FTS.