Amniotic fluid matrix metalloproteinase-8 in preterm labor with intact membranes

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Nov;185(5):1149-55. doi: 10.1067/mob.2001.118165.


Objective: Intra-amniotic inflammation is a major determinant of maternal and neonatal outcome in patients with preterm labor. Matrix metalloproteinase-8 is a sensitive marker of inflammation in body fluids. This study was conducted to examine the value of amniotic fluid matrix metalloproteinase-8 determinations in patients with preterm labor and intact membranes.

Study design: Amniotic fluid was obtained by transabdominal amniocentesis from 371 patients with preterm labor. Fluid was cultured for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and Mycoplasmas. Amniotic fluid analysis included Gram stain examination, white blood cell count, and matrix metalloproteinase-8 (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) determination. Nonparametric statistics were used for analysis.

Results: The rate of preterm delivery was 54% (200/371) and that of intra-amniotic infection was 9.2% (34/371). The median amniotic fluid matrix metalloproteinase-8 concentration was more than 50-fold higher in patients with intra-amniotic infection than in patients with no intra-amniotic infection (median, 605.6 ng/mL; range, 0.65-15,000 ng/mL vs median, 10.6 ng/mL; range, <0.06-16,600 ng/mL, respectively; P <.0001). The matrix metalloproteinase-8 amniotic fluid concentrations were significantly higher in patients who delivered preterm than in patients who delivered at term (median, 19.5 ng/mL; range, <0.06-16,600 ng/mL vs median, 2.1 ng/mL; range, <0.06-500 ng/mL, respectively; P <.001). After exclusion of patients with intra-amniotic infection, patients who delivered preterm had a significantly higher median amniotic fluid matrix metalloproteinase-8 than patients who delivered at term (P <.05). An amniotic fluid matrix metalloproteinase-8 level of >30 ng/mL was an independent predictor for the occurrence of neonatal morbidity (odds ratio, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.9-5.8; P <.01).

Conclusion: Increased amniotic fluid matrix metalloproteinase-8 concentrations identify patients at risk for intra-amniotic infection, impending preterm delivery, and adverse neonatal outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Amniocentesis
  • Amniotic Fluid / enzymology*
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Extraembryonic Membranes / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / epidemiology
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / mortality
  • Infections / complications
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 8 / metabolism*
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / complications
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / enzymology*
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / etiology
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 8