A retrospective review of placental material derived primarily from preterm deliveries was conducted and inflammatory changes graded on a scale of 0–3. Reviewers were blind as to the clinical outcomes. Other reviewers, unaware of the pathologic results, surveyed the clinical data, and results were combined for analysis. The findings suggest that placental and membrane inflammation probably precedes preterm spontaneous rupture of membranes in 8–30% of cases without labor. The duration of ruptured membranes and labor enhance the frequency of inflammation. Inflammation is not associated with significant puerperal infection unless cesarean delivery occurs. Perinatal morbidity and mortality were not significantly enhanced nor associated with conservative management of spontaneous preterm rupture of membranes in this population beyond the influence of fetal weight and gestational age.
© 1987 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists