TRIPLE SCREEN TEST
It is not exactly a mnemonic, but a good way to remember some details about triple screen test.
To increase the sensitivity for detecting chromosomal abnormalities labs use the Triple Screen Test.
TRI-ple screen test is used for TRI-somy 18 and TRI-somy 21 (both 18 and 21 are TRI-somies and can be divided by 3). TRI-ple screen is test for MSAFP, estriol and beta-hCG. In TRI-somy 18 everything is low. TRI-somy 21 can be present like 2+1, which means that the first 2 are low and the second one is high (there is a + sign in front 1, which shows that the levels are high). Now, the question is, how to remember which one of MSAFP, estriol and beta-hCG is high. In Down syndrome there is a high amount of beta-amyloid (cause for Alzheimer’s Dz before 40 yo). The other beta thing increased in Down syndrome is beta-hCG. Now, there is no way to forget what I just said.
Just a little point: in spina bifida AFP is high. Think that AFP leaks out trough the openings in the spinal column (the term spina bifida comes from Latin and literally means “split” or “open” spine) and its level is high. In Down syndrome the AFP level is down. This is kind of easy to remember.