Pathophysiology of Chorioamnionitis

Predisposing Factors: • young age (e.g., less than 21 years old); • • • • low socioeconomic status; first pregnancy; long labor; prolonged rupture of the membranes (bag of waters); rupture of membranes at an early gestational age; multiple vaginal examinations during labor (only in women with ruptured membranes); pre-existing infections of the lower genital tract (bacterial vaginosis and group B streptococcal infection); and •

about 5 to 10% of infected babies develop pneumonia (lung infection) or bacteremia (however, this is more common in preterm infants); less than 1% of term infants and a slightly higher percentage of preterm infants develop meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord); and although death in term babies is very unusual, up to 15% of infected preterm infants die because of the infection or other complications such as respiratory distress syndrome and bleeding into the brain.

Chorioamnionitis usually develops when bacteria that are part of the normal vaginal flora "ascend" into the uterine cavity. The amniotic fluid and placenta, as well as the baby, become infected. E. coli, group B streptococci, and anaerobic bacteria are the most common causes of chorioamnionitis, though, E. coli and group B streptococci are also the two most common causes of infection in newborns.

Chorioamnionitis can lead to serious complications in both mother and baby and is usually considered a medical emergency

Fever in the mother