Prolonged rupture of membranes associated with a decreased incidence of respiratory distress syndrome

C. R. Bauer, L. Stern, E. Colle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


The finding of an increased occurrence of prolonged ruptured membranes (ROM) in a group of prematures without RDS led to a prospective study of the effect of prolonged rupture (defined as greater than 16 hr duration) on the subsequent course of premature infants. Seventeen mother infant pairs were included in the study and steroid determinations (total blood corticosteroids, cortisol, and corticosterone) were performed on paired maternal plasma obtained prior to delivery and infant plasma obtained within the first hr of life. There was a lower incidence of RDS in infants born after greater than 16 hr ROM (0/10), when compared to those who were born after membranes had been ruptured less than 16 hr (4/7). A correlation between steroid levels (both total blood corticosteroids and cortisol) in the infants and duration of ruptured membranes was seen. However, no correlations existed with the duration of labor. It is postulated that the protective influence which prolonged rupture of membranes imparts to the premature fetus is mediated by elevated blood corticosteriods, which result in accelerated lung maturation and a subsequent decreased incidence of respiratory distress syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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