A rapid electrochemical assay of lecithin in amniotic fluid using a fluoride ion-sensitive electrode

Luisa Diomede, Pietro Masturzo, Silvano Agosti, Fernando Ornaghi, Mario Salmona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An electrochemical method is described for the determination of lecithin in rat and human amniotic fluid. Choline is released from lecithin enzymatically by phospholipase D and the hydrogen peroxide released by the action of choline oxidase is quantitatively determined by peroxidase-catalyzed rupture of the covalent C-F bond of 4-fluorophenol. The concentration of F- ions in solutions is determined by a fluoride sensitive electrode from the resulting cell potential difference recorded before and 10 min after addition of a solution containing phospholipase D, choline oxidase and horseradish peroxidase. Lecithin levels in rat amniotic fluid increased from about 10 μmol/l on the 20th day of gestation to 80 μmol/l on day 21, which corresponds to the time of spontaneous delivery. In human amniotic fluid the lecithin concentrations determined with this new method parallel those already reported. They were approximately 10 to 50 μmol/l between the 15th and 18th weeks of gestation and increased from 5- to 7-fold between the 37th and 41st weeks of pregnancy. This method was only slightly influenced by the presence of blood or meconium contamination in the amniotic fluid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 1988


  • Amniotic fluid
  • Fetal status
  • Fluoride electrode
  • Lecithin
  • Respiratory distress syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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