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How is trisomy 18 diagnosed?
Most cases of trisomy 18 are diagnosed prenatally. Standard pregnancy screening during the first and second trimesters including serum markers (plasma protein, beta-hCG, alpha-fetoprotein, unconjugated estriol, and inhibin A) with ultrasound (nuchal translucency and other anatomic abnormalities) can accurately diagnose more than three quarters of all cases. Chorionic villi sampling (CVS) is another genetic-based test that can diagnose trisomy 18. This diagnosis of trisomy 18 is important in order to better prepare parents and caregivers due to the high risk of fetal demise and early postnatal death. There are a number of support groups available to families dealing with these types of issues.