Amniotic Fluid Cell Culture

  • Aubrey Milunsky


Cellular pleomorphism is a characteristic feature of amniotic fluid examined microscopically immediately following amniocentesis. Multiple cell types (with differing sites of origin) adhere to glass or culture vessels within 12-24 hr of plating (see Chapter 9 for more details). In amniotic fluid obtained in the late third trimester, many authors have noticed the presence of cells that stain orange with Nile blue sulfate (Brosens and Gordon, 1965; Anderson and Griffiths, 1968; Brosens et al., 1969). The four types of amniotic fluid cells observed after Nile blue sulfate cell staining are the parabasal, the blue intermediate, the anucleated blue squamous, and the anucleated orange staining (Husain and Sinclair, 1971). The appearance of these stained cells seems to correlate with the earliest keratinization of the stratum corneum, starting at about 17 weeks’ gestation (Serri and Montagna, 1961; Parmley and Miller, 1969). It is just possible that this evidence of keratinization prior to 20 weeks of pregnancy may ultimately lead to the prenatal detection of hereditary disorders of keratin, such as the ichthyoses (Goodman, 1970).


Amniotic Fluid Prenatal Diagnosis Human Diploid Fibroblast Mycoplasma Contamination Fetal Skin 
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© Aubrey Milunsky 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aubrey Milunsky
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Genetics DivisionEunice Kennedy Shriver CenterWalthamUSA
  3. 3.Children’s ServiceMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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