Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a protein produced in the liver of a developing fetus. During a baby’s development, some AFP passes through the placenta and into the mother’s blood. An AFP test measures the level of AFP in pregnant women during the second trimester of pregnancy.
What happens if AFP is high?
An alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test is a blood test that measures the amount of AFPpresent in blood. … Individuals who aren’t pregnant still have some AFP in their blood, but levels are normally low. High levels of AFP in adults who aren’t pregnant usually indicate certain types of liver disease.
How is AFP test done?
The AFP test is measuring high and low levels of alpha-fetoprotein. The results are combined with the mother’s age and ethnicity in order to assess probabilities of potential genetic disorders. High levels of AFP may suggest the developing baby has a neural tube defect such as spina bifida or anencephaly.