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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Sep;161(3):817-24.

Infection and labor. V. Prevalence, microbiology, and clinical significance of intraamniotic infection in women with preterm labor and intact membranes.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510.


Amniotic fluid was retrieved by amniocentesis from 264 patients with preterm labor and intact membranes admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital from Jan. 1, 1985, to July 31, 1988. The prevalence of a positive amniotic fluid culture was 9.1% (24/264). A total of 111 patients (42%) delivered preterm neonates, and 24 (21.6%) of those had positive amniotic fluid cultures. The diagnostic indexes of the Gram stain of amniotic fluid in the prediction of a positive amniotic fluid culture were as follows: sensitivity, 79.1%; specificity, 99.6%; positive predictive value, 95%; and negative predictive value, 98%. Endotoxin was detected with the limulus amebocyte lysate assay in 4.9% (13/264) of patients with preterm labor. All patients with endotoxin in the amniotic fluid delivered preterm neonates. The three most frequently isolated organisms were Ureaplasma urealyticum (n = 6), Fusobacterium species (n = 5), and Mycoplasma hominis (n = 4). Clinical chorioamnionitis was present in only 12.5% of the patients with positive amniotic fluid cultures. Women with positive amniotic fluid cultures had lower gestational ages and more advanced cervical dilatation on admission than women with negative cultures. Preterm infants born to mothers with positive amniotic fluid cultures had a higher incidence of respiratory distress syndrome and infectious complications than preterm neonates born after negative amniotic fluid cultures. These data underscore the frequency and importance of intraamniotic infections in women with preterm labor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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