Background: Preterm birth is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among neonates in the United States. Early recognition of sepsis in this population is a challenging task since overt clinical signs can be difficult to determine. C-reactive protein (CRP), one of the most frequently non-specific used laboratory test, can indirectly aid the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis.
Objectives: To evaluate the relationship between histological findings in the placenta of preterm newborns born after prolonged rupture of membranes, CRP levels, and blood cultures.
Methods: Medical records were reviewed of all preterm newborns born after prolonged premature rupture of membranes at a medical center in Israel between 2011 and 2014.
Results: Of 128 newborns with prolonged rupture of membranes, 64 had evidence of histological chorioamnionitis (HCA). Gestational age, birth weight, and Apgar scores were significantly lower, while CRP levels (on admission and 10–12 hours post-delivery) were significantly higher in preterm newborns born to mothers with histological evidence of chorioamnionitis, but values were within normal ranges. Duration of the rupture of membranes and white blood cell counts did not differ between groups.
Conclusions: CRP levels taken on admission and 10–12 hours after delivery were higher when HCA was present, but since there was a substantial overlap between those with and without HCA and the values for most were within normal range, the differences were not enough to serve as a tool to diagnose placental histological chorioamnionitis in preterm infants born after prolonged premature rupture of membranes and exposed to intrapartum antibiotics.