Amniotic fluid optical density at spontaneous onset of labour and it’s correlation with gestational age, birth weight and functional maturity of newborn


  • Subha S. Sengodan Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Government Kumarmangalam, Medical College Hospital, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Santhya Velumani Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Government Kumarmangalam, Medical College Hospital, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India



AFOD, Functional maturity, Respiratory distress


Background: Respiratory distress is the common cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Babies born even at 40 weeks of gestation developed respiratory distress. The maturity of newborn is independent of gestational age and birth weight of newborn. In this study amniotic fluid optical density (AFOD) is correlated with the functional maturity of newborn.

Methods: In this study, hundred singleton pregnant women who underwent first trimester scan and crown rump length estimation, and who were on spontaneous labor were selected for this observational study. Under aseptic precautions AF samples were collected while doing amniotomy with 2 ml disposable syringe, also collected during caesarean section after careful hysterotomy from the bulging membranes. Amniotic fluid optical density studied with spectrometer at 650 nm. Birth weights were recorded for all the babies. Babies are also looked for the respiratory distress, NICU admission.

Results: In this study, respiratory distress was reported in 28% of newborns whereas 72% of newborns did not have distress. In the present study, 27% of newborns were admitted in NICU where as 73% of the newborns were on mother’s side following delivery. Babies with AFOD 0.98±0.27 were functionally mature, skin was pleased brown in colour with little vernix, none of them had respiratory distress. Amniotic fluid optical density <0.4 developed respiratory distress.

Conclusions: Amniotic fluid optical density is a simple method to assess the functional maturity of newborn.

Author Biographies

Subha S. Sengodan, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Government Kumarmangalam, Medical College Hospital, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

Professor and Head

Santhya Velumani, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Government Kumarmangalam, Medical College Hospital, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

Junior resident


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