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Acetylcholine Esterase - amniotic fluid

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Eurofins Biomnis code



  • AChE - amniotic fluid

Clinic significance

Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is a specific enzyme of the nervous tissue and the neuromuscular junction. It rapidly hydrolyses acetylcholine (neurotransmitter) into inactive choline and acetate.
In the amniotic fluid (AF) there is butyrylcholinesterase, but there is normally no AChE. However, if the foetus presents a defect in the neural tube closure of a myelomeningocele type (anencephalia and spina bifida of a myelomeningocele type), the AChE of the cephalo-rachidian fluid (CRF) flows into the AF and is added to the butyrylcholinesterase.
Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis of an AF permits the visualisation of:
- in all cases: a slow band corresponding to the butyrylcholinesterase, migrating to the same level as that of the LCR sample,
- in pathological cases: a fast band of acetylcholinesterase.


  • 3 mL
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Ambient temperature

Further information

  • Amniotic fluid before centrifugation, essential in case of haemorrhagic sample ALWAYS attach:
    - the pregnancy data: date of pregnancy, number of foetuses, number of sacs sampled in case of twin pregnancy, ultrasonographic signs, abnormally high AFP level in serum Down's syndrome test, Depakine® treatment
    - the medical prescription, medical certificate and patient consent form in accordance the regulation


Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

Turnaround time

14 days

Pathologist(s) in charge
Biomnis Lyon
Down Syndrome screening and foetal biochemistry
Dr Corinne SAULT
+334 72 80 73 75
+334 72 80 23 61