Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Chorioamnionitis is a common complication of pregnancy associated with significant maternal, perinatal, and long-term adverse outcomes.


Chorioamnionitis or intra-amniotic infection is an acute inflammation of the membranes and chorion of the placenta, typically due to ascending polymicrobial bacterial infection in the setting of rupture of membranes. Chorioamnionitis can occur with intact membranes, and this seems especially common for the very small fastidious genital mycoplasmas, such as Ureaplasma species and Mycoplasma hominis, found in the lower genital tract of more than 70% of women. Only rarely is hematogenous spread implicated in chorioamnionitis, as occurs with Listeria monocytogenes. When characteristic clinical signs are present, the condition is referred to as clinical chorioamnionitis or clinical intra-amniotic infection.

The cause of chorioamnionitis is bacteria having breached the normal defenses of the uterus, usually ascending from lower in the vagina. Common culprits might be group B strep or E. coli bacteria. The condition is most likely to occur when delivery is prolonged after the membranes have been ruptured, and occurrence is most common in preterm births.

Risk Factors

    Premature labor.

  • Premature Rupture of Membranes.

  • Prolonged rupture of membranes.

  • Prolonged labor.

  • Multiple intrapartum vaginal exams.

  • Internal monitoring.

  • Urinary tract infection.



  • Increased heart rate in both the mother and the fetus.

  • Tender uterus.

  • Smelly discharge from the vagina.

  • Maternal leukocytosis (an increased number of white blood cells in the mother's blood).

  • Bacteria, white cells, and low amounts of glucose in amniotic fluid (determined by amniocentesis).


The infection is diagnosed by the symptoms. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may also include the following:

    Blood tests—to check the mother's blood cell count and other signs of infection.

  • Amniocentesis—A needle is inserted through the mother's abdomen to get a sample of amniotic fluid, which is tested for bacteria, inflammatory cells, and glucose levels.In more severely ill patients, uterine tenderness and discolored, foul-smelling amniotic fluid (another indication of infection) may be present.

  • Laboratory confirmation of a chorioamnionitis diagnosis is not routinely necessary in term patients who are progressing to delivery. However, if you are in preterm labor, an amniocentesis may be necessary. If the amniotic fluid has a low concentration of glucose and a high concentration of white blood cells and bacteria, the diagnosis is confirmed.


Treatment of uterine infections will depend on the individual circumstances. If your doctor diagnoses chorioamnionitis, he or she will treat you with antibiotics to help to treat the infection. However, the treatment is to deliver the fetus. In addition, if the newborn has an infection, he or she will be given antibiotics, as well.

Disclaimer:The above information is just informative purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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