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Pregnancy & Prenatal Testing

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First Trimester: TORCH Panel

The TORCH panel is used to screen for certain infectious diseases that can cause birth defects in a baby if the mother contracts them during the pregnancy. The blood tests that make up the panel are for:

  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Rubella
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV)

Some of these are ordered individually, either before or early in pregnancy; the complete TORCH panel is less commonly ordered since more specific and sensitive tests to detect these infections are available.

Other infections that may be tested at the same time include syphilis, hepatitis B, coxsackie virus, Epstein-Barr virus, varicella zoster virus, and parvovirus B19.

March of Dimes: Toxoplasmosis