This article reviews the current trends in the evaluation and management of bacterial infection involving the uterus, placenta, membranes, amniotic fluid, and fetus occurring near the time of birth. The discussion includes information regarding risk, incidence, patho-physiology, bedside diagnosis, interventional options including antibiotics, corticosteroids, fetal monitoring, and delivery, and possible preventive measures which affect the outcome. The adequate evaluation and management of perinatal infection requires a team approach with obstetricians and pediatricians. Clinical screening is useful in developing the diagnosis, but amniotic fluid evaluation remains the proposed gold standard. The role of cytokines is becoming increasingly important, as is seen in the association of IL-6 with positive amniotic fluid cultures and periventricular leukomalacia. Prompt recognition and management of the pregnancy affected by infection can improve perinatal outcomes. A management protocol is presented to help structure the approach to suspected infection. Premature delivery due to perinatal infection may be preventable.
- Intraamniotic infection
- Pregnancy complications
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health