OBJECTIVE: To establish the normal maternal range in healthy pregnant women for each component of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria and compare these ranges with existing SIRS criteria.
DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Embase, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases were searched to identify studies of healthy parturients from the first trimester through 12 weeks postpartum that reported maternal temperature, respiratory rate, PaCO2, heart rate, white blood cell count data, or a combination of these.
METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION: Data were extracted from studies providing maternal values for components of SIRS criteria. The mean, standard deviation, and two standard deviations from the mean for all criteria parameters published in the literature were reported.
TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS: Eighty-seven studies met inclusion criteria and included 8,834 patients and 15,237 data points: temperature (10 studies and 2,367 patients), respiratory rate (nine studies and 312 patients), PaCO2 (12 studies and 441 patients), heart rate (39 studies and 1,374 patients), and white blood cell count (23 studies and 4,553 patients). Overlap with SIRS criteria occurred in healthy pregnant women during the second trimester, third trimester, and labor for each of the SIRS criteria except temperature. Every mean value for PaCO2 during pregnancy (and up to 48 hours postpartum) was below 32 mm Hg. Two standard deviations above the mean for temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate were 38.1°C, 25 breaths per minute, and 107 beats per minute, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Current SIRS criteria often overlap with normal physiologic parameters during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period; thus, alternative criteria must be developed to diagnose maternal sepsis.