oa Central African Journal of Medicine - The value of the foam stability test

Volume 22, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Recently a rapid screening test using amniotic fluid has been developed for the determination of fetal pulmonary maturity. This test, the foam stability test, has been claimed to have a high predictive value for the Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The test depends on the ability of pulmonary surfactant, present in small quantities in the liquor, to generate a stable foam in the presence of ethanol. This study was intended to further assess the reliability of the foam stability test in predicting fetal pulmonary maturity with special reference to its use in a busy maternity unit where ,the more laborious tests of pulmonary maturity such as lecithin: sphingomyelin ratios are impractical.

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