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Early Hum Dev. 2009 May;85(5):273-7. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2008.11.003. Epub 2008 Dec 23.

Contemporary neonatal outcome following rupture of membranes prior to 25 weeks with prolonged oligohydramnios.

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Department of Neonatology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.



Prolonged oligohydramnios following early preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (PPROM) is traditionally associated with high neonatal mortality and significant risk of pulmonary hypoplasia. However, recent evidence points to an apparent improvement in outcome.


To document current neonatal outcomes following rupture of membranes prior to 25 weeks with severe persistent oligohydramnios and a latency to delivery of at least 14 days.


A retrospective case note analysis over a 28-month period at Saint Luc University Hospital, Brussels.


From 23 pregnancies that were complicated by PPROM prior to 25 weeks, 15 infants were born after 24 weeks with a latency of more than 14 days and persistent oligohydramnios. Nine infants (60%) had severe respiratory failure and clinical signs compatible with pulmonary hypoplasia. Seven of these infants (78%) responded to high frequency ventilation and inhaled nitric oxide therapy with good clinical outcome but two died from severe respiratory failure. Five infants showed no clinical signs of pulmonary hypoplasia and responded to conventional neonatal management. One of these infants died at 77 days of age of necrotising enterocolitis. One infant was not resuscitated and died within minutes of birth, following prior discussion with the perinatal team and the parents. Survivors in this high-risk group (73%) had low morbidity at the time of discharge.


The favourable neonatal survival and morbidity figures are in keeping with recent published evidence. This study confirms improved outcome even amongst the highest risk infants with documented persistent oligohydramnios.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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