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Forum Name: Obstetrics

Question: actual quantitaive test for hCG


 kspilker1982 - Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:00 pm

I am aware of the correct levels of hCG before, during, and after pregnancy. I also am aware that doctors usually conduct these tests by drawing blood or though a urine sample. However I would like to know how the levels are actually calculated. What mathematical method is actually being used?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:48 am

User avatar Hello --

The calculation of hGC has become largely computerized, and even though I've spent several years in lab, I don't know exactly how the calculation is set up, but do know this, which is probably the basis for the automated calculations: Beta hCG levels double roughly every 2 days during the first four weeks. As the pregnancy evolves, the doubling time increases. By 6 to 7 weeks gestation beta hCG levels may take as long as 3 1/2 days to double. If one were to put this information into a small program, I'm quite sure it would yield virtually the same results that laboratory calculator programs now do.

Hope this is an adequate answer. Probably someone out there remembers the actual formula for computing this, but so much is automated now in lab work that it's largely lost to most of us who now rely on computerized models to calculate the results.

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