Author's reply

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7036.975 (Published 13 April 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:975
  1. Philip Steer
  1. Professor Academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London SW10 9NH

    EDITOR,—The letter from Anne Kennard and colleagues published in a previous issue,1 commenting on my review of serum screening for Down's syndrome,2 shows perfectly some of the traps into which the enthusiasts for this technique fall.

    Firstly, they say that it is inappropriate to quote the actual detection rate but insist on using the estimated rate, which is higher. Such estimates do not take into account women who refuse the test, book too late for it, or decide not to have amniocentesis …

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