Clinical chorioamnionitis is the most common infection/inflammatory process diagnosed in labor and delivery units worldwide. The condition is a syndrome that can be caused by (1) intra-amniotic infection, (2) intra-amniotic inflammation without demonstrable microorganisms (i.e. sterile intra-amniotic inflammation), and (3) maternal systemic inflammation that is not associated with intra-amniotic inflammation. The presence of intra-amniotic inflammation is a risk factor for adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes in a broad range of obstetrical syndromes that includes clinical chorioamnionitis at term. Although the diagnosis of intra-amniotic infection has relied on culture results, such information is not immediately available for patient management. Therefore, the diagnosis of intra-amniotic inflammation could be helpful as a proxy for intra-amniotic infection, while results of microbiologic studies are pending. A rapid test is now available for the diagnosis of intra-amniotic inflammation, based on the determination of neutrophil collagenase or matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8). The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate the diagnostic indices of a rapid MMP-8 test for the identification of intra-amniotic inflammation/infection in patients with the diagnosis of clinical chorioamnionitis at term, and (2) to compare the diagnostic performance of a rapid MMP-8 test to that of a conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) interleukin (IL)-6 test for patients with clinical chorioamnionitis at term.Materials and methods:
A retrospective cohort study was conducted. A transabdominal amniocentesis was performed in patients with clinical chorioamnionitis at term (n=44). Amniotic fluid was analyzed using cultivation techniques (for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria as well as genital Mycoplasmas) and broad-range polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS). Amniotic fluid IL-6 concentrations were determined by ELISA, and rapid MMP-8 results were determined by Yoon's MMP-8 Check®. Intra-amniotic inflammation was defined as an elevated amniotic fluid IL-6 concentration ≥2.6 ng/mL, and intra-amniotic infection was diagnosed by the presence of microorganisms in the amniotic fluid accompanied by intra-amniotic inflammation. The diagnostic indices of Yoon's MMP-8 Check® for the identification of intra-amniotic inflammation were calculated. In order to objectively compare Yoon's MMP-8 Check® with the ELISA IL-6 test for the identification of intra-amniotic inflammation, we used an amniotic fluid white blood cell (WBC) count ≥50 cells/mm3 to define intra-amniotic inflammation.Results:
(1) A positive rapid MMP-8 test had a sensitivity of 82.4% (28/34), specificity of 90% (9/10), positive predictive value of 96.6% (28/29), negative predictive value of 60% (9/15), positive likelihood ratio 8.2 (95% CI 1.3-53.2), and negative likelihood ratio 0.2 (95% CI 0.1-0.4) for the identification of intra-amniotic inflammation (prevalence 77.3%); (2) a positive rapid MMP-8 test had a sensitivity of 91.7% (22/24), specificity of 65% (13/20), positive predictive value of 75.9% (22/29), negative predictive value of 86.7% (13/15), positive likelihood ratio of 2.6 (95% CI 1.4-4.8), and negative likelihood ratio of 0.1 (95% CI 0.03-0.5) for the identification of intra-amniotic infection; (3) the rapid MMP-8 test had a significantly higher specificity than the ELISA IL-6 test in the identification of intra-amniotic inflammation as determined by an amniotic fluid WBC count ≥50 cells/mm3. The sensitivity and accuracy of the rapid MMP-8 test were comparable to those of the ELISA IL-6 test; and (4) importantly, the rapid MMP-8 test had 100% sensitivity and 100% negative predictive value in the identification of neonates affected with fetal inflammatory response syndrome (FIRS).Conclusion:
The rapid diagnosis of intra-amniotic inflammation is possible by analysis of amniotic fluid using a point-of-care test for MMP-8. Patients with a positive test are at risk of delivering a neonate affected with systemic inflammation, a risk factor for adverse neonatal outcome.