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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, Joachim W.

Editorial Board Member: / Bancalari, Eduardo / Greenough, Anne / Genc, Mehmet R. / Chervenak, Frank A. / Chappelle, Joseph / Bergmann, Renate L. / Bernardes, J.F. / Bevilacqua, G. / Blickstein, Isaac / Cabero Roura, Luis / Carbonell-Estrany, Xavier / Carrera, Jose M. / D`Addario, Vincenzo / D'Alton, MD, Mary E. / Dimitrou, G. / Grunebaum, Amos / Hentschel, Roland / Köpcke, W. / Kawabata, Ichiro / Keirse, Marc J.N.C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Lee, Ben H. / Levene, Malcolm / Lockwood, Charles J. / Marsal, Karel / Makatsariya, Alexander / Nishida, Hiroshi / Ogata, Edward / Papp, Zoltán / Pejaver, Ranjan Kumar / Pooh, Ritsuko K. / Romero, Roberto / Saugstad, Ola D. / Schenker, Joseph G. / Sen, Cihat / Seri, Istvan / Vetter, Klaus / Winn, Hung N. / Young, Bruce K. / Zimmermann, Roland


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1619-3997
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A sonographic short cervix as the only clinical manifestation of intra-amniotic infection

Sonia Hassan1 / Roberto Romero2 / Israel Hendler3 / Ricardo Gomez4 / Nahla Khalek5 / Jimmy Espinoza6 / Jyh Kae Nien7 / Stanley M. Berry8 / Emmanuel Bujold9 / Natalia Camacho10 / Yoram Sorokin11

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Corresponding author: Sonia S. Hassan, MD Hutzel Women's Hospital/Wayne State University Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology 3990 John R 7 Brush North, MFM-Mail Drawer #163 Detroit, MI 48201 Tel.: +(313) 993-1368 Fax: +(313) 993-4100

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine. Volume 34, Issue 1, Pages 13–19, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: 10.1515/JPM.2006.002, January 2006

Publication History

Received:
September 21, 2005
Accepted:
October 28, 2005
Published Online:
2006-01-11

Abstract

Objective: A sonographically short cervix is a powerful predictor of spontaneous preterm delivery. However, the etiology and optimal management of a patient with a short cervix in the mid-trimester of pregnancy remain uncertain. Microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity (MIAC) and intra-amniotic inflammation are frequently present in patients with spontaneous preterm labor or acute cervical insufficiency. This study was conducted to determine the rate of MIAC and intra-amniotic inflammation in patients with a cervical length <25 mm in the mid-trimester.

Study design: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of patients referred to our high risk clinic because of a sonographic short cervix or a history of a previous preterm birth. Amniocenteses were performed for the evaluation of MIAC and for karyotype analysis in patients with a short cervix. Fluid was cultured for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, as well as genital mycoplasmas. Patients with MIAC were treated with antibiotics selected by their physician.

Results: Of 152 patients with a short cervix at 14–24 weeks, 57 had amniotic fluid analysis. The prevalence of MIAC was 9% (5/57). Among these patients, the rate of preterm delivery (<32 weeks) was 40% (2/5). Microorganisms isolated from amniotic fluid included Ureaplasma urealyticum (n=4) and Fusobacterium nucleatum (n=1). Patients with a positive culture for Ureaplasma urealyticum received intravenous Azithromycin. Three patients with Ureaplasma urealyticum had a sterile amniotic fluid culture after treatment, and subsequently delivered at term. The patient with Fusobacterium nucleatum developed clinical chorioamnionitis and was induced.

Conclusion: (1) Sub-clinical MIAC was detected in 9% of patients with a sonographically short cervix (<25 mm); and (2) maternal parenteral treatment with antibiotics can eradicate MIAC caused by Ureaplasma urealyticum. This was associated with delivery at term in the three patients whose successful treatment was documented by microbiologic studies.

Keywords: Cervical insufficiency; cervical length; chorioamnionitis; intra-amniotic infection; microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity; preterm delivery; short cervix; ultrasound

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