Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 May;210(5):447.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2013.11.038. Epub 2013 Dec 1.

Maternal inflammatory markers and term labor performance.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.
  • 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL.
  • 3Department of Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA.
  • 4Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
  • 5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA.
  • 6Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.



We sought to examine the relationship between maternal markers of inflammation and labor performance.


A nested cohort study was performed utilizing an established cohort of term nulliparous patients. Maternal blood was collected at the onset of regular, painful contractions in patients undergoing labor induction or at admission in patients with spontaneous labor. Levels of cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α were determined using standard multiplex methodology. Maternal demographic data were collected prospectively. Detailed retrospective chart review was performed to extract data on cervical dilation, effacement, and station during labor. Subjects were excluded if they failed to achieve complete dilation. Mixed effects modeling was used to examine the association between serum cytokine quartiles and labor progress in the latent and active phases.


In all, 334 women were included in our analysis. The lowest quartile of IL-6 was associated with slower latent labor (P = .001). In contrast, the highest quartiles of IL-1 and tumor necrosis factor-α were associated with slower active labor (P = .03 and .0002, respectively).


Proinflammatory activation is important in labor initiation. However, once active labor is established, excess inflammation can be detrimental to efficient labor progress. These data may explain, in part, the known associations among clinical chorioamnionitis, cesarean delivery, and postpartum hemorrhage.

Copyright © 2014 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.


cytokines; failure to progress; inflammation; interleukins; labor

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk