Objective: To determine whether an elevated amniotic fluid concentration of prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) is associated with intra-amniotic inflammation/infection and adverse pregnancy outcomes in patients with preterm labor and intact membranes.Materials and methods: The retrospective cohort study included 132 patients who had singleton pregnancies with preterm labor (< 35 weeks of gestation) and intact membranes. Amniotic fluid was cultured for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria as well as for genital mycoplasmas. Intra-amniotic inflammation was defined by an elevated amniotic fluid matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) concentration (>23 ng/mL). PGF2α was measured with a sensitive and specific immunoassay. The amniotic fluid PGF2α concentration was considered elevated when it was above the 95th percentile among pregnant women at 15-36 weeks of gestation who were not in labor (≥170 pg/mL).Results: (1) The prevalence of an elevated amniotic fluid PGF2α concentration was 40.2% (53/132) in patients with preterm labor and intact membranes; (2) patients with an elevated amniotic fluid PGF2α concentration had a significantly higher rate of positive amniotic fluid culture [19% (10/53) versus 5% (4/79); p = 0.019], intra-amniotic inflammation/infection [49% (26/53) versus 20% (16/79); p = 0.001], spontaneous preterm delivery, clinical and histologic chorioamnionitis, and funisitis, as well as a higher median amniotic fluid MMP-8 concentration and amniotic fluid white blood cell count and a shorter amniocentesis-to-delivery interval than those without an elevated concentration of amniotic fluid PGF2α (p < 0.05 for each); and (3) an elevated amniotic fluid PGF2α concentration was associated with a shorter amniocentesis-to-delivery interval after adjustment for the presence of intra-amniotic inflammation/infection [hazard ratio 2.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4-3.1; p = 0.001].Conclusion: The concentration of PGF2α was elevated in the amniotic fluid of 40.2% of patients with preterm labor and intact membranes and is an independent risk factor for intra-amniotic inflammation/infection, impending preterm delivery, chorioamnionitis, and funisitis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology