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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 
  • Other infections (syphilis, hepatitis B, coxsackie virus, Epstein-Barr virus, varicella-zoster virus, and human parvovirus)
  • Rubella 
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) 
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV) 

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


March of Dimes: Pregnancy complications - Toxoplasmosis