Second trimester amniotic fluid is reliably fern positive and α1-microglobulin positive: Dispelling a labor deck myth

Nicholas S. Fogelson, Paul Christopher Browne, Stanette Browne, Anthony R. Gregg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective Many physicians erroneously believe and have propagated the myth that a second trimester amniotic fluid sample will not fern. We attempted to redemonstrate ferning and to demonstrate the efficacy of an assay for α1-microglobulin in second trimester amniotic fluid samples. Study Design Amniotic fluid samples were collected from women undergoing routine genetic amniocentesis between 15 and 26 weeks. A total of 97 samples of second trimester amniotic fluid were placed on slides and examined for ferning at 5 and 10 minutes. An α1-microglobulin assay was performed on each sample. Data were recorded and reported. Results Approximately 93% of samples were fern positive at 5 minutes and 100% were fern positive at 10 minutes. All samples were α1-microglobulin positive. Conclusion Pure amniotic fluid is reliably fern and α1-microglobulin positive in the second trimester. Republication of data only available in pre-online sources will benefit physicians and patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-392
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • amniotic fluid
  • ferning
  • ruptured membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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