Objective: This study was undertaken to determine whether matrix metalloproteinase-8, which is produced by neutrophils, is a useful marker for the detection of intra-amniotic infection.
Study design: We performed a case-control study using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to detect matrix metalloproteinase-8 in 77 amniotic fluid specimens that were obtained by amniocentesis from women with preterm contractions or preterm labor and intact fetal membranes (n = 66) and from women with preterm premature rupture of membranes (n = 11).
Results: Thirty women had culture-proven intra-amniotic infection (cases), 21 of whom had intact membranes. After constructing receiver operating characteristic curves to establish the optimal threshold concentration of matrix metalloproteinase-8 for a positive test result, we detected matrix metalloproteinase-8 in 27 of 30 women with intra-amniotic infection; only 10 of 47 control specimens contained matrix metalloproteinase-8 (P <.001; odds ratio, 33.3; 95% CI, 8.4, 132.7). Matrix metalloproteinase-8 was present in 20 of 21 women with intact membranes and intra-amniotic infection and in only 10 of 45 control subjects (P <.001; odds ratio, 70.0; 95% CI, 8.3, 587.6). Among women with intact membranes, the sensitivity of the assay was 0.95 and the specificity was 0.78.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that matrix metalloproteinase-8 is highly correlated with intra-amniotic infection and that enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for matrix metalloproteinase-8 may be a clinically useful test for the diagnosis of intra-amniotic infection in women with preterm contractions and preterm labor.