The role of phosphatidyl-glycerol in the determination of fetal lung maturity
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
Phosphatidyl-glycerol (PG) and the lecithin/sphingomyelin (L/S) ratio were determined on amniotic fluid from 140 patients to evaluate the role of PG estimation as a functional fetal lung maturity test. PG was absent without associated respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in 17 cases (12%) and present in 123; 3 of the infants born to these patients developed slight hyaline membrane disease. There were no neonatal deaths. When both PG and the L/S ratio were determined the accuracy of prediction of the RDS improved from 87% to 93%. PG determination should not be used as a substitute for the L/S ratio, but should be used in conjunction with it in high-risk situations.