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PF.68 TORCH Screening, Where Are We Now?
  1. SM Halawa1,
  2. L McDermott1,
  3. ML Denbow1,
  4. M Donati1,2
  1. 1United Hospitals Bristol NHS trust, Bristol, UK
  2. 2Public Health Laboratory, Bristol, UK


TORCH screening is used in pregnancy in a wide number of indications. In 1990 the Public Health Laboratory service advised that individual serology tests, rather than a TORCH screen, should be performed depending upon clinical circumstances)1 2. Our group confirmed these findings for fetal medicine indications.1 The aim of this retrospective study was to determine our progress with the use of TORCH in pregnancy.

Methods A retrospective review of all TORCH tests requested in St Michael’s Hospital in obstetrics and gynaecology between 01/10/2006 and 31/01/2012 was undertaken via the pathology database.

Results 742 tests were undertaken over the study period. 40 indications were identified. There were 4 positive tests for CMV (1%), with no cases of confirmed toxoplasmosis or rubella. CMV was found in late miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage and multiple fetal abnormality.

Conclusions The incidence of toxoplasma in the UK is 1–2 infections per 1000 pregnancies3 and is normally associated with a maternal illness. Rubella is screened for as part of the routine ante-natal screen. Our findings have further confirmed the targeted approach to serology screening4. We therefore now only perform CMV serology unless there is an overwhelming clinical indication for the addition of toxoplasma testing.


  1. Abdel-Fattah SA, Bhat A, Illanes S, et al. TORCH test for fetal medicine indications; only CMV is necesary in the UK. Prenat Diagn 2005;25:1028-31.

  2. PHLS. TORCH screening reassessed: the laboratory investigation of congenital, perinatal and neonatal infection. 1. UK: Public Health Laboratory Service, 1990.

  3. Allain JP, Palmer CR, Pearson G. Epidemiological study of latent and recent infection by Toxoplasmosis Gondii in pregnant women in a regional population in the UK. J Infect 1998;36:189-96.

  4. Fayyaz H, Rafi J. TORCH screening in polyhydramnios: an observational study. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2012;25:1069-72.

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