Yale New Haven Hospital

Department of Laboratory Medicine
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Placental lactogen

Lab Section: 

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Test ID: 




Human Placental Lactogen


Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA)




10 days

Specimen Requirements: 

Collection: 3.0 mL Blood in a Red Top Tube.
Pediatric volume: 1 mL.
Red-top tube (no gel)
Transport: Frozen.
Unacceptable conditions: Received room temperature
Stability: Ambient: 4 hours; Refrigerated: 24 hours; Frozen: 30 Days



Clinical Indications: Human placental lactogen (HPL; chorionic somatomammotropin) is a 21, 000 kD polypeptide (similar in structure to growth hormone and prolactin) produced during pregnancy by placental trophoblastic cells. The level of HPL in maternal serum is directly related to placental function and fetal well-being. HPL is detected at about 6 weeks after conception and its concentration increases gradually to peak levels (without decreases) until about the 34th week where it remains stable for the remainder of the pregnancy. Consistently low levels throughout pregnancy or a sudden drop in serial determinations are an indication of fetal distress. After normal delivery the HPL concentration falls rapidly to an undetectable level. The HPL levels in serum of women with multiple placenta pregnancies generally exceeds that of single placenta pregnancies. This is generally noted from the second trimester to delivery.

Reference Interval: 

See patient report or consult reference laboratory website.



CPT Code(s): 


Last Changed: 

8/30/2017 2:50:28

Last Reviewed: 

8/30/2017 2:50:36