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PLoS One. 2019 Apr 11;14(4):e0215058. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215058. eCollection 2019.

The prevalence of histologic acute chorioamnionitis among HIV infected pregnant women in Uganda and its association with adverse birth outcomes.

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Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration, Kampala, Uganda.
Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, National Center for Emergin and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.
School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda.
Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.
Department of Anatomic Pathology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.



Preterm birth (PTB) is a leading cause of neonatal mortality and longer-term morbidity. Acute chorioamnionitis (ACA) is a common cause of PTB, however, there are limited data on the prevalence of ACA and its association with PTB in resource limited settings.


Data and samples came from a clinical trial evaluating novel strategies for the prevention of malaria in HIV infected pregnant women in Uganda. Women were enrolled between 12-28 weeks of gestation and followed through delivery. For each placenta delivered, three placental tissue types (membrane roll, umbilical cord and chorionic plate/villous parenchyma) were collected. Slides were assessed for diagnosis of maternal and fetal ACA by microscopic evaluation of neutrophilic infiltration using a standardized grading scale. The primary outcomes were PTB (<37 weeks), low birth weight (LBW, <2500 grams), and small-for-gestational age (SGA, birth weight <10th percentile for age). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to estimate associations between 1) maternal characteristics (age, education, wealth, gravidity, gestational age at enrollment, placental malaria, anti-malarial prophylaxis treatment regimen, HIV disease parameters) and ACA, and 2) associations between ACA and adverse birth outcomes.


A total of 193 placentas were included in the analysis. The prevalence of maternal and fetal ACA was 44.5% and 28.0%, respectively. HIV infected women between 28-43 years of age had a higher risk of maternal ACA compared to those between 17-21 years of age (50.9% vs. 19.1%; aOR = 4.00 (1.10-14.5), p = 0.04) and the diagnosis of severe maternal ACA was associated with a significantly higher risk of PTB (28.6% vs. 6.0%; aOR = 6.04 (1.87-19.5), p = 0.003), LBW (33.3% vs. 9.4%; aOR = 4.86 (1.65-14.3); p = 0.004), and SGA (28.6% vs. 10.1%; aOR = 3.70 (1.20-11.4), p = 0.02). No maternal characteristics were significantly associated with fetal ACA and the diagnosis of fetal ACA was not associated with adverse birth outcomes.


Histological evidence of severe maternal ACA was associated with an increased risk of PTB, LBW, and SGA in HIV infected, pregnant Ugandan women.

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