Antibiotic therapy for preterm premature rupture of the membranes

B. M. Mercer, K. L. Arheart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Amniotic fluid studies and placental histopathological evaluation have confirmed the association between intrauterine infection and preterm premature rupture of the membranes (pPROM). This association is increasingly strong with pPROM at early gestational ages. The organisms associated with pPROM include a broad spectrum of aerobic and anaerobic gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. In many cases, the patient presenting with pPROM will have overt intrauterine infection necessitating delivery. For those amenable to expectant management, the clinical course is usually of brief latency between membrane rupture and delivery. A number of well-designed prospective clinical trials have evaluated the utility of antibiotic treatment during the expectant management of pPROM. Taken together, these studies suggest broad spectrum antibiotic treatment of this population to enhance pregnancy prolongation, and to reduce maternal and neonatal infectious morbidity. There are some data suggesting the potential for a reduction in neonatal gestational age-dependent morbidity. We recommend aggressive adjunctive antibiotic treatment to prolong pregnancy and reduce morbidity in patients with pPROM, at gestations remote from term, when a significant improvement in neonatal outcome can anticipated with expectant management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-438
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Perinatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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