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Amniotic Fluid Cells; Prenatal Sex Prediction and Culture

Br Med J 1970; 1 doi: (Published 28 February 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;1:523
  1. M. M. Nelson,
  2. A. E. H. Emery


    Sex chromatin studies were carried out on small amounts of amniotic fluid obtained by amniocentesis or from intact amniotic sacs removed at hysterotomy. Provided that satisfactory preparations were obtained the accuracy of fetal sexing was 87%. Nevertheless, in the management of a pregnancy in which there is a risk of a serious X-linked recessive disorder, repeat amniocentesis may be necessary to ensure satisfactory specimens.

    Of 90 samples of fluid cultured, satisfactory growth was obtained in 49; the success rate was not increased by the addition of stimulants to the culture medium. It is suggested that between the 13th and the 16th week of pregnancy is the optimum time for amniocentesis to obtain cells for culture, since sufficient cells are then present in a small volume of fluid and therapeutic abortion would still be possible once the results were available.