Umbilical vein interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha plasma concentrations in the very preterm infant

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



To examine the relationship between umbilical vein plasma concentrations of interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and early neonatal sepsis in the very preterm infant, and the histopathologic findings of chorioamnionitis in the placentas from these pregnancies.


A prospective study was conducted in 43 very preterm, singleton infants delivered at or before 32 weeks of gestation. IL-6 and TNF-alpha were measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay. Placentas from these pregnancies were histologically examined for the presence of chorioamnionitis. Infants were prospectively classified as confirmed sepsis group, clinical sepsis group or control group. IL-6 and TNF-alpha plasma concentrations were not normally distributed, so they were transformed to their natural log values for statistical analysis.


The enrolled infants had a mean gestational age of 27.2 ± 2.7 weeks and a mean birth weight of 956 ± 325 g. Three (7%) infants had confirmed sepsis, 18 (42%) were in the clinical sepsis group and 22 (51%) were in the control group. IL-6 concentrations but not TNF-alpha were significantly higher (P< 0.05) in the confirmed (8.9 ± 1.7) and clinical sepsis (5.5 ± 2.4) groups in comparison with the control group (2.1 ± 1.6). We examined 42 placentas. Twenty-three (55%) had no evidence of chorioamnionitis, 1 (2%) had mild grade, 8 (19%) had a moderate grade and 10 (24%) had a severe grade of chorioamnionitis. IL-6 was significantly elevated in the moderate (5.9 ± 1.6vs.1.9 ± 1.6) and severe grade (7.2 ± 2.3vs.1.9 ± 1.6) of chorioamnionitis, in the presence of acute deciduitis (6.0 ± 2.7vs.2.1 ± 1.8), chorionic vasculitis (6.8 ± 2.1vs.2.2 ± 1.9) and funisitis (7.3 ± 1.9vs.2.7 ± 2.3) (P< 0.05) TNF-alpha plasma concentrations were not significantly different.


An elevated umbilical vein IL-6 concentration is a good indicator of sepsis syndrome in the very preterm infant and also correlates with histologic chorioamnionitis in these pregnancies.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles