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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2006 Mar;19(3):177-87.

A systematic review of intentional delivery in women with preterm prelabor rupture of membranes.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.



To evaluate the effect of intentional delivery versus expectant management in women with preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (PPROM).


We searched electronic databases and trials registries, contacted experts, and checked reference lists of relevant studies. Studies were included if they were randomized controlled trials comparing intentional delivery versus expectant management after PPROM, the gestational age of participants was between 30 and 36 weeks, and the study reported one of several pre-determined outcomes.


Four studies were included in the meta-analysis. No difference was found between intentional delivery and expectant management in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) length of stay (LOS) (weighted mean difference (WMD) -0.81 day, 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.66, 0.04), respiratory distress syndrome (risk difference (RD) -0.01, 95% CI -0.07, 0.06), and confirmed neonatal sepsis (RD -0.01, 95% CI -0.05, 0.04). One study found a significantly lower incidence of suspected neonatal sepsis among the intentional delivery group (RD -0.31, 95% CI -0.50, -0.12; number needed to treat (NNT) 3, 95% CI 2, 8). Maternal LOS was significantly shorter for the intentional delivery group (WMD -1.39 day, 95% CI -2.03, -0.75). There was a significant difference in the incidence of clinical chorioamnionitis favoring intentional delivery (RD -0.16, 95% CI -0.23, -0.10; NNT 6, 95% CI 5, 11). There was no significant difference in the incidence of other maternal outcomes, including cesarean section (RD 0.05, 95% CI -0.01, 0.11).


Intentional delivery may be favorable to expectant management for some maternal outcomes (chorioamnionitis and LOS). There is insufficient evidence to suggest that either strategy is beneficial or harmful for the baby. Large multicenter trials with primary neonatal outcomes are required to assess whether intentional delivery is associated with less neonatal morbidity.

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