One in 100 pregnant women are diagnosed with chorioamnionitis,
which is a serious infection of the amniotic fluid,
fetal membranes and placental tissues. Chorioamnionitis
is regarded as a major cause of preterm premature
rupture of membranes (PPROM) and premature labor.
• Chorioamnionitis is an inflammation of the two
membranes that surround the fetus: the chorion and
the amnion and the maternal membranes (placental
• It is more common in mothers who give birth
• The consequences are serious: a blood infection
in the mother and a serious infection in the newborn.
• Organisms responsible for this infection
include E.coli commonly found in the vagina.
• Group B strep is another possible cause.
• When the membranes rupture for an extended
period of time before the onset of labor, vaginal
organisms can travel upwards into the uterus and
stir up an infection.
• In some instances chorioamnionitis manifests no
symptoms, more so in the beginning.
• The first sign is an accelerated heart rate
in the mother
• A fever of over 104˚F develops soon after,
displaying an increased white blood count (typical
in cases of infection)
• Fetus develops a rapid heartbeat signaling
danger and score low on a biophysical profile (BPP)
• Foul smelling amniotic fluid if the amniotic
• If the sac is intact an unpleasant smelling
vaginal discharge is possible
• A tender and possibly painful uterus is common
• A wide range of microorganisms are responsible
for chorioamnionitis so it becomes difficult to pinpoint
the exact cause. Lab tests are necessary in suspected
cases. Either the mother or the amniotic sample will
be tested for infection.
• Treatment also depends on the health condition
of both mother and fetus
• Throughout testing and treatment fetal monitoring
• Antibiotics will be started which will continue
even after delivery.
• Prompt delivery (especially if pregnancy is
near term or if the membranes have ruptured) is recommended
to prevent complications and/or if either baby or
mother is in danger
• If the fetus is immature, large doses of antibiotics
will be administered with careful monitoring and delivery
will be postponed until the fetus is mature enough
• A newborn is treated with antibiotics and
sometimes scores low on the APGAR test. There are
usually no long term problems.