JOURNAL ARTICLE

Failure of physiologic transformation of the spiral arteries in the placental bed in preterm premature rupture of membranes

Yeon Mee Kim, Tinnakorn Chaiworapongsa, Ricardo Gomez, Emmanuel Bujold, Bo Hyun Yoon, Siegfried Rotmensch, Howard T Thaler, Roberto Romero
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2002, 187 (5): 1137-42
12439491

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether failure of physiologic transformation of the spiral arteries occurs in patients with preterm premature rupture of membranes (PROM).

STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was designed to examine the histopathologic findings in the placental bed and placenta of patients with preterm PROM, preeclampsia, and normal women at term. Immunohistochemistry with cytokeratin 7 and periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) were used to detect trophoblast and fibrinoid and to diagnose failure of physiologic transformation of the spiral arteries.

RESULTS: One hundred thirteen cases met the inclusion criteria, 59 from patients with normal pregnancies, 31 with preterm PROM, and 23 with preeclampsia. The mean number of the spiral arteries with failure of physiologic transformation of the myometrial segment was significantly higher in patients with preterm PROM and preeclampsia than in normal pregnant women at term (P =.006 and P <.0001, respectively). In contrast, the mean number of the spiral arteries with failure of physiologic transformation of the decidual segment of the spiral arteries in the basal plate of the placenta was not significantly different in patients with preterm PROM from that in normal pregnant women (P >.05). Placentas from patients with preterm PROM had a higher frequency of vascular lesions than those from normal pregnant women (P =.02).

CONCLUSION: Defective placentation, defined as failure of physiologic transformation of the myometrial segment of the spiral artery, is frequently present in preterm PROM.

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