The Full Wiki

More info on Lecithin-sphingomyelin ratio

Lecithin-sphingomyelin ratio: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The lecithin-sphingomyelin ratio is a test for assessing fetal lung maturity.[1][2] Lungs require surfactant, a soapy sort of substance, to lower the surface pressure of the alveoli in the lungs. This is especially important for premature babies trying to expand their lungs for that critical first breath after birth. Surfactant is a mixture of lipids, proteins, and glycoproteins. Lecithin and sphingomyelin being two of them. Lecithin makes the surfactant mixture more effective.



An L/S ratio of 2 or more indicates a relatively low risk of infant respiratory distress syndrome, and an L/S ratio of less than 1.5 is associated with a high risk of infant respiratory distress syndrome.

If preterm delivery is necessary (as evaluated by a biophysical profile or other tests) and the L/S ratio is low, the mother may need to receive steroids to hasten the fetus's surfactant production.


An amniotic fluid sample is collected via amniocentesis and the sample is spun down in a centrifuge at 1000 rpm for 3 to 5 minutes. Thin layer chromatography is performed on the supernatant, which separates out the components. Lecithin and sphingomyelin are relatively easy to identify on TLC and the predictive value of the test is good.[3]

See also




Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address