Maternal Chorioamnionitis and Postneonatal Respiratory Tract Infection in Ex-Preterm Infants

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Abstract

Objective

To assess whether exposure to histologically confirmed chorioamnionitis (ie, histologic chorioamnionitis [HCA]) is associated with altered risk of infection-related hospitalization (IRH) during the first 24 months of life in very preterm infants.

Study design

This single-center retrospective cohort study analyzed data on 1218 infants born at <30 weeks gestational age (GA). Semiquantitative placental histology, obstetric, and neonatal data were extracted from hospital databases and linked with discharge diagnoses on rehospitalization until age 24 months from statewide statutory data. The associations between HCA and overall and clinical categories of IRH were analyzed by Cox proportional hazards regression with left-truncated failure times.

Results

Mean GA was 27 weeks, and HCA was present in 577 placentas (47.4%). Among the 1088 infants surviving until the birth-related discharge, 684 (62.9%) of had at least 1 IRH by age 24 months, of whom 287 included a diagnosis of acute lower respiratory tract infection (ALRTI). Following adjustment for sex, birth weight z-score, GA, early-onset sepsis, late-onset sepsis, previous antibiotic use, age at birth-related discharge, and chronic lung disease, HCA was associated with a 32% increased risk of hospitalization with ALRTI (HR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.02-1.70; P = .033). There was no association with infection overall or with other infection categories.

Conclusions

HCA is associated with a significantly increased risk of hospitalization with ALRTI that is independent of known risk factors, including chronic lung disease.

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