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Lecithin/sphingomyelin ratios in amniotic fluid in normal and abnormal pregnancy

  • Louis Gluck
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Dr. Louis Gluck, Division of Perinatal Medicine, Dept. of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, La Jolla, California 92037
    Affiliations
    Division of Perinatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, La Jolla, California, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Marie V. Kulovich
    Affiliations
    Division of Perinatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, La Jolla, California, USA
    Search for articles by this author
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      Abstract

      Only in normal pregnancy does the lecithin/sphingomyelin (L/S) ratio correlate with gestational age. Abnormalities of pregnancy, including maternal, fetal, and placental conditions, may affect markedly the maturation of the fetal lung. Certain conditions associated, e.g., with maternal hypertension and severe placental problems including retroplacental bleeding and ruptured membranes accelerate L/S ratio maturation and other conditions such as diabetes mellitus (A, B, and C) delay maturation of the L/S ratio. These studies suggest that an association exists between general major organ system maturation of the fetus—“functional maturity”-and the L/S ratio, independent of gestational age or birth weight.
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