We present 2 cases of maternal mortality after transabdominal amniocentesis performed during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. In both these cases, blood cultures revealed Escherichia coli. Broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotic treatment started immediately after admission to the hospital did not change the rapid progression of the disease. Despite evacuation of the uterus within <10 h from the diagnosis of septic abortion and transfer to the intensive care units to treat multiorgan failure, these patients died. Septic abortion and septic shock following transabdominal amniocentesis are very rare; however, they carry a serious risk to the patients' life. The combination of fever and leukopenia several days after amniocentesis should alert the physician to the evolution of sepsis. Because of the risk involved, information given to the patient prior to amniocentesis should refer to possible fetal complications and to the remote possibility of maternal risks as well.
Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel