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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2009 Nov;22(11):1063-7. doi: 10.3109/14767050903026473.

Interleukin-6 and Mycoplasma hominis as markers of preterm birth and related brain damage: our experience.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Second University of Naples, Caserta, Italy.



The aim of this study is to investigate whether a high concentration of interleukin-6 (IL)-6 in the amniotic fluid is associated to a higher risk of preterm delivery, premature rupture of the membranes (PROM), and periventricular leucomalacia (PVL) in preterm infants; we have further investigated whether the levels of IL-6 are related to the presence of vaginal infection by mycoplasms.


One hundred eight patients were screened by vaginal swab, sonography, amniocentesis, and dosage of IL-6 in the amniotic fluid during the second trimester of pregnancy.


High levels of IL-6 and vaginal mycoplasms are related to preterm birth and PROM. We had no case of PLV.


In order to achieve a good therapeutic purpose and get to an efficient strategy, the patients have to be elected by a number of criteria, which may include anamnesis elements, vaginal swab, then cytokines dosage in selected women, thus excluding the low-risk cases. Further studies are expected in order to plan guidelines including the dosage of ILs and principally of IL-6 as a main marker of preterm birth, above all during the second trimester.

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