Prolonged latency of preterm premature rupture of membranes and risk of neonatal sepsis

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Preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) is associated with inflammation and infection, and it may involve the loss of a barrier to ascending infection from the vagina, and it is possible that prolonged PPROM could be an independent risk factor for neonatal sepsis.


The objective of the study was to determine whether prolonged latency after PPROM is associated with an increased risk of neonatal sepsis.


This secondary analysis of the randomized controlled trial of magnesium sulfate for the prevention of cerebral palsy evaluated whether the time interval between diagnosis of PPROM and delivery was associated with an increased risk of neonatal sepsis. Latency time was categorized by weeks of latency (0 weeks to ≥ 4 weeks). The primary outcome was confirmed neonatal sepsis. Logistic regression was used to control for confounders.


A total of 1596 patients with PPROM were analyzed, of whom 1390 had a < 4-week interval and 206 had an interval of ≥ 4 weeks. Confirmed neonatal sepsis occurred in 15.5% of patients in the cohort. In the univariate analysis, patients in the prolonged PPROM group were less likely to have neonatal sepsis (6.8% vs 17.2%, relative risk, 0.40 95% confidence interval, 0.24–0.66). This relationship was retained in the multivariable model; patients with prolonged PPROM ≥ 4 weeks had an adjusted odds ratio of 0.21 (95% confidence interval, 0.10–0.41) for neonatal sepsis. Neonatal sepsis was also significantly associated with earlier gestational age at rupture of membranes.


Prolonged exposure to an intrauterine environment of PPROM does not increase the risk of neonatal sepsis; prolonged PPROM ≥ 4 weeks was associated with decreased risk of neonatal sepsis.

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