Analysis for amniotic fluid crystallization in second-trimester amniocentesis


  • A potential complication of second-trimester amniocentesis for genetic indications is inadvertent needle insertion into the maternal bladder, resulting in aspiration of urine rather than amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid forms a characteristic crystalline arborization pattern when allowed to air dry. We utilized this property of amniotic fluid to distinguish amniotic fluid from maternal urine. In 24 of 25 cases studied in a randomized blind fashion the crystalline arborization test correctly identified amniotic fluid, whereas none of the 25 urine samples showed this pattern. Our study indicates that the crystalline arborization test is reliable in distinguishing amniotic fluid from maternal urine during the second trimester of pregnancy. © 1979.

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