Objectives: Fetal lung maturation and respiratory outcomes are influenced by the exposure to intrauterine inflammation. Funisitis is considered as the histologic hallmark of fetal inflammatory response. This study was performed to determine if there is a difference in the rate of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) according to the presence or absence of funisitis in preterm gestations. Study design: The relationship between the presence of funisitis and the development of neonatal RDS was examined in 301 consecutive singleton preterm births (24-32 weeks' gestation). Cases without placental histological examination and those with major congenital anomalies were excluded. Funisitis was diagnosed in the presence of neutrophil infiltration into the umbilical vessel walls or Wharton's jelly on the placental histological examination. Results: Funisitis was diagnosed in 25% and RDS was diagnosed in 46% of cases. The rate of RDS in babies with funisitis was lower than in those without funisitis (28.4% vs. 51.1%, p = 0.001). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the presence of funisitis was associated with a decreased risk for RDS after adjusting for confounding variables (Odds ratio = 0.44, 95% CI 0.22-0.90). The downward trend of the frequency of RDS was related to the presence of histologic chorioamnionitis and funisitis (p < 0.001). Conclusions: The presence of funisitis is associated with a decreased risk for the development of neonatal RDS in preterm gestations. Furthermore, this observation suggests that the fetal involvement of placental inflammation may be beneficial to the maturation of the fetal lung.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Reproductive Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Developmental Biology