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Test Catalog

Test ID: AFC    
Amniotic Fluid Culture for Genetic Testing

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Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Producing amniocyte cultures that can be used for genetic analysis


Once confluent flasks are established, the amniocyte cultures are sent to other laboratories, either within Mayo Clinic or to external sites, based on the specific testing requested.

Genetics Test Information Provides information that may help with selection of the correct test or proper submission of the test request

Aminocyte culture for prenatal genetic testing. The additional test(s) desired must be indicated on the request form that accompanies the specimen.

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Fetal cells obtained by amniocentesis (amniocytes) are used for a wide range of laboratory tests. Prior to testing, the cells may need to be cultured to obtain adequate numbers of amniocytes.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

Not applicable

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Prior to obtaining amniotic fluid specimens for specific genetic testing, it is crucial to identify a laboratory that will perform testing for the disorder in question and establish that they will perform the study on amniocytes.


Including clinical information provided with the specimen is very useful. This allows the laboratory to identify or verify the correct testing to perform.


Interfering factors:


 - Improper syringes or transport vessels may damage amniotic cells, see Specimen Required

 - Transport time should not exceed 2 days

 - A bloody specimen may interfere with attempts to culture cells

 - Inadequate amount of fluid (we recommend 25 mL of fluid) may not permit adequate culture for analysis

 - Improper packaging may result in broken, leaky, and contaminated specimens

 - Exposure of the specimen to temperature extremes (freezing or >30 degrees C)


 - It is difficult to differentiate between maternal and fetal cells in some specimens. Culturing of maternal cells rather than fetal cells can cause discrepant results.

Clinical Reference Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Barch MJ, Knutsen T, Spurbeck JL: In The AGT Cytogenetics Laboratory Manual. Third edition, 1997

Special Instructions and Forms Describes specimen collection and preparation information, test algorithms, and other information pertinent to test. Also includes pertinent information and consent forms to be used when requesting a particular test