Amniotic Fluid: Acetylcholinesterase (AChE)

CPT Code(s):


Specimen Requirements:

Amniotic Fluid: Aseptically collect 1 – 2 cc of amniotic fluid. The initial 1 – 2 cc collected for prenatal chromosome studies may be utilized for AchE testing.

Do not freeze or fix samples in any manner contrary to the maintenance of cell viability. Maintain sample sterility; keep all specimens at room temperature; and deliver samples to the laboratory within 24 – 48 hours. Ship specimens at room temperature for overnight delivery.

Unacceptable Conditions:

  • Frozen specimens
Stability (collection to initiation of testing):

  • Ambient: 48 hours
  • Frozen: Unacceptable

Contact the laboratory prior to submission (approved by consultation).


The presence AChE detected in amniotic fluid samples may reflect the presence of fetal open neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. This test is applicable to late gestational age specimens, where AFP values are not applicable.


Arranged for send-out for concurrently submitted prenatal cytogenetic studies


10 – 14 days (subject to broad range of variables)