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Amniotic fluid N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase activity and renal abnormalities.
  1. E Ring,
  2. H Hofmann,
  3. W Erwa,
  4. M Riccabona,
  5. G Zobel,
  6. M Häusler
  1. Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital of Graz, Austria.


    Amniotic fluid N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) activity was measured in 21 normal pregnancies to determine reference values, and in 10 pregnancies with fetuses who had prenatally recognised renal and urinary tract malformations. The normal values obtained at 17-19 and 28-31 gestational weeks did not differ, and an activity of 105 units NAG/mmol creatinine was the upper limit of the normal range. Raised NAG activities were found in four fetuses with oligohydramnios and severe bilateral renal disease, and also in two infants with a normal amount of amniotic fluid, only unilateral renal lesions, and a normal renal function after birth. Three of four cases with normal NAG activities had malformations without kidney damage, but one baby with prune belly syndrome was subsequently found to have dysplastic kidneys and renal failure. Our preliminary results suggest that a high level of NAG activity in the amniotic fluid indicates unilateral or bilateral kidney damage but is not proof of intrauterine renal failure.

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