Test Utilization: The Changing Landscape of Fetal Lung Maturity Testing


The lecithin-to-sphingomyelin (L/S) ratio determined by thin- layer chromatography was the first biochemical test for assessing the maturity of fetal lungs. While many outcome studies have demonstrated that the L/S ratio has good diagnostic sensitivity and specificity the test is technically difficult and time consuming to perform and has poor precision. Despite the availability of other, rapid tests for fetal lung maturity that have better clinical utility, the L/S ratio is still considered to be the gold standard test for determining fetal lung maturity. This presentation will discuss the current trends in fetal lung maturity testing, provide an overview of the available fetal lung maturity tests, and summarize their strengths and limitations.

Originally presented on March 27, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lecture Presenter

David G. Grenache, PhD

David G. Grenache, PhD

Medical Director, Special Chemistry Laboratory
ARUP Laboratories
Associate Professor of Pathology
University of Utah School of Medicine

Dr. Grenache is the director of the Special Chemistry Laboratory at ARUP and is a certified diplomate by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Grenache earned his PhD from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts and completed a clinical chemistry fellowship at Washington University, St. Louis.

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, and ARUP Laboratories