Role of amnioinfusion in the management of premature rupture of the membranes at <26 weeks' gestation

A Locatelli, P Vergani, G Di Pirro, V Doria, A Biffi, A Ghidini
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2000, 183 (4): 878-82

OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate whether serial amnioinfusions for persistent oligohydramnios can affect the perinatal and long-term outcomes in extreme cases of preterm premature rupture of membranes.

STUDY DESIGN: All singleton pregnancies with preterm premature rupture of membranes at <26 weeks' gestation and lasting >4 days between January 1991 and June 1998 were included. Amniotic fluid volume was assessed as the maximum cord-free pocket with serial ultrasonographic examinations. Consenting women with persistent (>4 days) oligohydramnios (amniotic fluid </=2 cm) received serial transabdominal amnioinfusions to maintain an amniotic fluid pocket >2 cm. The pregnancy, neonatal, and long-term neurologic outcomes of the cases that spontaneously maintained a median amniotic fluid pocket >2 cm (amnioinfusion-not-necessary group) were compared with those of women with oligohydramnios who underwent amnioinfusion but continued to have a median amniotic fluid pocket after preterm premature rupture of membranes </=2 cm (persistent oligohydramnios group) and with those of women in whom oligohydramnios was alleviated by the procedure for at least 48 hours (successful amnioinfusion group). Statistical analysis included the Wilcoxon rank-sum test and the Fisher exact test, with a 2-tailed P <.05 considered significant.

RESULTS: Among the 49 women included in the study, 13 (26.5%) did not have oligohydramnios, the neonatal survival rate was 92%, and normal fetal lung development and neurologic outcome were achieved in all survivors. The remaining 36 women had oligohydramnios, and all underwent serial amnioinfusions, which successfully restored a median amniotic fluid pocket >2 cm for >/=48 hours in 11 (30%) patients. This successful amnioinfusion group was comparable with the persistent oligohydramnios group (n = 25) in gestational age at first amnioinfusion (median, 20.2 weeks; range, 16-25.6 weeks; vs median, 20.3 weeks; range, 16.5-24.2 weeks; P =.4), number of amnioinfusions (median, 3; range, 1-9; vs median, 3; range, 1-5; P =.4), and interval between amnioinfusions (median, 6 days; range, 4-14 days; vs median, 8 days; range, 6-43 days; P =. 1). However, patients in the persistent oligohydramnios group had a significantly shorter interval to delivery, lower neonatal survival (20%), and higher rates of pulmonary hypoplasia (62%) and abnormal neurologic outcomes (60%) than the patients in the groups in which amnioinfusion was not necessary or was successful (all P </=.01).

CONCLUSION: Pregnancies with preterm premature rupture of membranes-related oligohydramnios at <26 weeks' gestation in which serial amnioinfusions successfully alleviate oligohydramnios have a perinatal outcome that is significantly better than the outcome in those with persistent oligohydramnios and is comparable with gestations with preterm premature rupture of membranes in which oligohydramnios never develops.

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