Objective: Thus far there is no satisfactory treatment for preterm premature rupture of the amniotic membranes. To evaluate the use of platelets to seal the membranes, we investigated in vitro interactions between platelets and the membranes.
Study design: Platelet aggregation in the presence of amnion, chorion, and amniotic fluid was quantified. Platelet adhesion to the fetal membranes was investigated by electron microscopy. In addition, a model system was designed to evaluate the capacity of platelets to seal a standardized puncture in the membranes.
Results: Platelets aggregated in response to amnion but not to chorion or amniotic fluid. Adhesion and activation occurred on connective tissues underlying amnion and chorion but not on the amniotic epithelium. Platelets sealed a puncture in fetal membranes, and the platelet plug was visualized by electron microscopy.
Conclusions: Exposed connective tissue of amniotic membranes was demonstrated to trigger platelet adhesion, aggregation, and activation, and platelets were shown to seal a standardized puncture in fetal membranes. Our results indicate that platelets might be useful for treatment of ruptured membranes after needle puncture.