When my wife Kathy was pregnant with our second baby, her OBGYN detected that she had low PAPP-A levels. In this article, I will explain what PAPP-A is and why low levels often result in additional tests and monitoring.
None of that should freak you out! Scientific studies have yet to establish a clear connection between low PAPP-A and the increased risk of problems during pregnancy.
Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A (PAPP-A)
Early in the pregnancy we learned about a new blood test, called Harmony, that could more reliably detect trisomies 21 (Down syndrome), 18, and 13 starting at week ten. The test would also tell us our baby’s gender long before ultrasound-based gender determination takes place.
So we decided to do the test, and fortunately, it came back negative for all tested chromosomal abnormalities.
Of course, we also did the regular first-trimester blood screening that checks serum biochemical markers such as Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A (PAPP-A), human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), Placental Growth Factor (PlGF) and Placental Protein 13 (PP13).