As screening for Down syndrome becomes increasingly sophisticated, it is important to evaluate the newer technologies in terms of their cost-effectiveness. One recent addition to Down syndrome screening programmes is maternal serum unconjugated oestriol (uE3), especially when used in conjunction with maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein and human chorionic gonadotropin. Using assumptions used in a California proposal to justify an expanded screening programme for Down syndrome, we calculated both the average and the incremental cost-effectiveness of adding uE3. Using the base case assumptions, including an $8 fee for the uE3, the incremental cost-effectiveness of adding uE3 to the proposed California programme is $119,100 per case detected, a value that compares favourably with other Down syndrome screening programmes. The sensitivity analysis supports this conclusion over a wide range of assumptions. However, because of the uncertainty with some key data, it is still too early to fully support the inclusion of uE3 in Down syndrome screening programmes.