Siobhan M. Dolan MD MPH


Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) in Blood

An alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test checks the level of AFP in a pregnant woman’s blood. AFP is a substance made in the liver of an unborn baby (fetus). The amount of AFP in the blood of a pregnant woman can help see whether the baby may have such problems as spina bifida and anencephaly. An AFP test can also be done…

Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) in Blood

An alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test checks the level of AFP in a pregnant woman’s blood. AFP is a substance made in the liver of an unborn baby (fetus). The amount of AFP in the blood of a pregnant woman can help see whether the baby may have such problems as spina bifida and anencephaly. An AFP test can also be done…

Amniotic Fluid

Amniotic fluid is the liquid that surrounds a developing baby (fetus) in the uterus throughout pregnancy. The amniotic fluid protects the fetus from temperature extremes and from being bumped or hurt as the mother moves around. Amniotic fluid allows the fetus to move before birth and is important for lung development…

First-Trimester Screening for Birth Defects

What is the first-trimester screening for birth defects? Near the end of the first 3 months of pregnancy (first trimester), a woman can have two types of tests to show the chance that her baby has a birth defect. When the results are combined, these tests are known as the first-trimester screening. They also may be…

Neural Tube Defect

A neural tube defect (NTD) is a birth defect that occurs when the spine, the brain, or the bone and skin that protect them do not develop properly. The most common type of neural tube defect is spina bifida, in which the spinal cord or spinal nerves may bulge out through an opening in the bones of the spine. The neural…