Meconium has no lecithin or sphingomyelin but affects the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio

S. A. Longo, Craig Towers, A. Strauss, T. Asrat, R. K. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Although a few studies have evaluated the effect of meconium on the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio for testing of fetal lung maturity, to date these studies have assessed only the lecithin-sphingomyelin ratio of amniotic fluid contaminated with meconium. The purpose of this study was (1) to determine whether meconium by itself has a lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio and, if so, (2) to determine whether the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio is constant. STUDY DESIGN: A lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio was obtained by standard thin-layer chromatography on the first meconium stool of 20 neonates between 31 weeks and term. A quantitative assay was then performed on a sample from each gestational age (7 samples ranging from 31 weeks to term) to confirm the presence of lecithin and sphingomyelin. RESULTS: The 20 samples had atypical thin-layer chromatographic migratory patterns in the zones for lecithin and sphingomyelin. The presumed lecithin/sphingomyelin ratios ranged from 1.1 to 3.6, with no correlation with gestational age. However, the quantitative assay did not detect the presence of lecithin or sphingomyelin in any of the analyzed samples. CONCLUSIONS: Meconium does not appear to contain lecithin or sphingomyelin but has an unidentified moiety whose migratory pattern, as shown by qualitative standard thin-layer chromatography, is similar to that of lecithin with sphingomyelin. Therefore the presence of meconium in amniotic fluid may falsely raise or lower the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio and confuse fetal lung maturity interpretations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1640-1642
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume179
Issue number6 I
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

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Meconium
Sphingomyelins
Lecithins
Amniotic Fluid
Thin Layer Chromatography
Gestational Age
Lung

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

Meconium has no lecithin or sphingomyelin but affects the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio. / Longo, S. A.; Towers, Craig; Strauss, A.; Asrat, T.; Freeman, R. K.

In: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 179, No. 6 I, 01.01.1998, p. 1640-1642.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Longo, S. A. ; Towers, Craig ; Strauss, A. ; Asrat, T. ; Freeman, R. K. / Meconium has no lecithin or sphingomyelin but affects the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio. In: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1998 ; Vol. 179, No. 6 I. pp. 1640-1642.
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abstract = "OBJECTIVE: Although a few studies have evaluated the effect of meconium on the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio for testing of fetal lung maturity, to date these studies have assessed only the lecithin-sphingomyelin ratio of amniotic fluid contaminated with meconium. The purpose of this study was (1) to determine whether meconium by itself has a lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio and, if so, (2) to determine whether the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio is constant. STUDY DESIGN: A lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio was obtained by standard thin-layer chromatography on the first meconium stool of 20 neonates between 31 weeks and term. A quantitative assay was then performed on a sample from each gestational age (7 samples ranging from 31 weeks to term) to confirm the presence of lecithin and sphingomyelin. RESULTS: The 20 samples had atypical thin-layer chromatographic migratory patterns in the zones for lecithin and sphingomyelin. The presumed lecithin/sphingomyelin ratios ranged from 1.1 to 3.6, with no correlation with gestational age. However, the quantitative assay did not detect the presence of lecithin or sphingomyelin in any of the analyzed samples. CONCLUSIONS: Meconium does not appear to contain lecithin or sphingomyelin but has an unidentified moiety whose migratory pattern, as shown by qualitative standard thin-layer chromatography, is similar to that of lecithin with sphingomyelin. Therefore the presence of meconium in amniotic fluid may falsely raise or lower the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio and confuse fetal lung maturity interpretations.",
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AU - Freeman, R. K.

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N2 - OBJECTIVE: Although a few studies have evaluated the effect of meconium on the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio for testing of fetal lung maturity, to date these studies have assessed only the lecithin-sphingomyelin ratio of amniotic fluid contaminated with meconium. The purpose of this study was (1) to determine whether meconium by itself has a lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio and, if so, (2) to determine whether the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio is constant. STUDY DESIGN: A lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio was obtained by standard thin-layer chromatography on the first meconium stool of 20 neonates between 31 weeks and term. A quantitative assay was then performed on a sample from each gestational age (7 samples ranging from 31 weeks to term) to confirm the presence of lecithin and sphingomyelin. RESULTS: The 20 samples had atypical thin-layer chromatographic migratory patterns in the zones for lecithin and sphingomyelin. The presumed lecithin/sphingomyelin ratios ranged from 1.1 to 3.6, with no correlation with gestational age. However, the quantitative assay did not detect the presence of lecithin or sphingomyelin in any of the analyzed samples. CONCLUSIONS: Meconium does not appear to contain lecithin or sphingomyelin but has an unidentified moiety whose migratory pattern, as shown by qualitative standard thin-layer chromatography, is similar to that of lecithin with sphingomyelin. Therefore the presence of meconium in amniotic fluid may falsely raise or lower the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio and confuse fetal lung maturity interpretations.

AB - OBJECTIVE: Although a few studies have evaluated the effect of meconium on the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio for testing of fetal lung maturity, to date these studies have assessed only the lecithin-sphingomyelin ratio of amniotic fluid contaminated with meconium. The purpose of this study was (1) to determine whether meconium by itself has a lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio and, if so, (2) to determine whether the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio is constant. STUDY DESIGN: A lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio was obtained by standard thin-layer chromatography on the first meconium stool of 20 neonates between 31 weeks and term. A quantitative assay was then performed on a sample from each gestational age (7 samples ranging from 31 weeks to term) to confirm the presence of lecithin and sphingomyelin. RESULTS: The 20 samples had atypical thin-layer chromatographic migratory patterns in the zones for lecithin and sphingomyelin. The presumed lecithin/sphingomyelin ratios ranged from 1.1 to 3.6, with no correlation with gestational age. However, the quantitative assay did not detect the presence of lecithin or sphingomyelin in any of the analyzed samples. CONCLUSIONS: Meconium does not appear to contain lecithin or sphingomyelin but has an unidentified moiety whose migratory pattern, as shown by qualitative standard thin-layer chromatography, is similar to that of lecithin with sphingomyelin. Therefore the presence of meconium in amniotic fluid may falsely raise or lower the lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio and confuse fetal lung maturity interpretations.

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