Chorioamnionitis (CA) is the leading cause of preterm birth and neonatal complications. Even in the absence of a proven infection, fetuses and neonates present a systemic inflammatory response which can be identified by radiological and morphological examination of the thymus. The frequent occurrence of brain injury in neonates with CA is probably linked to systemic, unspecific mechanisms which have not yet been completely clarified. Only by relating placental pathology to clinical evaluation of the newborn will it be possible to achieve a better understanding of these infections and to reduce long-term morbidity and mortality.
Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel