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Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Dec;43(4):759-67.

Infection and preterm labor.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75390-9032, USA.


There are many conditions, such as non-white race, young maternal age, and uterine malformations, that have been associated with preterm birth that are not amenable to intervention. Maternal cervical and intrauterine infection and inflammation may have a primary causative role in a fraction of the cases of preterm birth and preterm rupture of membranes and may also interact adversely with a variety of maternal (shortened cervix, smoking) and fetal factors (polyhydramnios, multifetal gestation) to decrease the threshold to preterm birth. Further studies are needed to better-define the link between various maternal microbial colonizations and preterm delivery, with the possibility to establish new screening and treatment recommendations. Because of the innumerable causes of preterm birth, a new strategy of targeted treatment of cervical or vaginal infections may lead to only a modest reduction in the incidence of this devastating problem of modern obstetrics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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