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ARRS: Non-Invasive Test May Measure Fetal Lung Maturity

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of choline levels could be potential alternative to amniocentesis

MONDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of choline levels has the potential to become a non-invasive alternative to amniocentesis in assessing fetal lung maturity, according to preliminary research presented at the annual meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society in Orlando, Fla.

May Yong, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues performed magnetic resonance spectroscopy on 15 amniotic fluid samples, which were obtained between 34 and 40 weeks of gestation. Two readers assessed eight metabolite peaks and 15 spectra, including trimethylsilylpropionic acid (TSP), lactate doublet, choline and others.

The researchers found that the mean surfactant to albumin ratio ranged from 34 to 93 mg/g, with values greater than 49 mg/g indicative of lung maturity. There was a trend towards an association between fetal lung maturity (surfactant to albumin ratio) and increasing choline to TSP ratio.

"We are pleased to see a trend between increasing surfactant to albumin ratio with increasing choline concentration in amniotic fluid," Yong said in a statement. "We are doing work with more samples to determine if this trend reaches statistical significance. If this work is successful, we could potentially use magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a non-invasive test for fetal lung maturity and spare pregnant women and their fetuses the risks of amniocentesis."

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