Aggressive intervention of previable preterm premature rupture of membranes

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2012 Aug;91(8):923-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0412.2012.01432.x. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


Objective: To assess the neonatal and maternal outcomes of pregnancy complicated by previable preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM).

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Tertiary referral hospital. Sample. Forty-five women having aggressive intervention with antibiotics, amnioinfusion, cerclage and tocolysis.

Methods: The hospital database between July 2001 and December 2009 was reviewed for women with singleton fetuses and PPROM before 23(+0) weeks of gestation. We analysed maternal and neonatal characteristics.

Main outcome measures: Neonatal survival without major morbidity.

Results: Thirty-eight infants were delivered alive and seven were stillborn. Ten infants died in the neonatal intensive care unit and one in the labor ward. Twenty-seven live-born infants survived to discharge from hospital. The survival rate of pregnancies with aggressive management was 60% (27 of 45); that of live-born infants was 71.1% (27 of 38). The median gestational age at PPROM and at delivery were significantly lower in the non-surviving group than the surviving group. Thirty-seven women (82.2%) had an amniotic neutrophil elastase level >0.15 μg/mL. Only four women (8.9%) developed clinical chorioamnionitis. Overall, 90.7% of the women showed histological evidence of chorioamnionitis. Eighty-three per cent of the surviving children had bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Nine infants had serious sequelae at a corrected age of one and a half years. Maternal complications were uncommon.

Conclusions: An aggressive treatment protocol for women with previable PPROM resulted in a high neonatal survival rate. Neonatal survival was associated with higher gestational age at delivery and with more frequent use of antenatal corticosteroids. The prognosis is still bad in PPROM before 22(+0) weeks of gestation.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Cerclage, Cervical*
  • Chorioamnionitis / diagnosis
  • Chorioamnionitis / drug therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Fetal Membranes, Premature Rupture / drug therapy
  • Fetal Membranes, Premature Rupture / mortality
  • Fetal Membranes, Premature Rupture / surgery
  • Fetal Membranes, Premature Rupture / therapy*
  • Fetal Viability*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stillbirth
  • Tocolysis*
  • Tocolytic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Tocolytic Agents