Meconium staining of the amniotic fluid and the presence and severity of acute placental inflammation: a study of term deliveries in a predominantly African-American population

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The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine : the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians


OBJECTIVE: To determine frequency, stage and grade of placental histologic acute maternal inflammatory response (MIR) and fetal inflammatory response (FIR) in meconium-stained amniotic fluid (MSAF) in our predominantly African-American population.

METHODS: Term placentas with MSAF (n = 310) were evaluated for MIR/FIR, including stage/grade, and compared with placentas with clear amniotic fluid (AF) (n = 250). MIR/FIR were also evaluated in thick compared to thin MSAF subgroups. Selected demographic and clinical features were compared.

RESULTS: MIR and FIR were present in 57.7 and 40.3% of the MSAF compared to 44.0 and 29.2% of the clear AF group, respectively (p = .001 and .008). MIR with FIR was present in 35.8% of the MSAF compared to 25.2% of the clear AF group (p = .008); however, there was no significant difference in frequency of MIR without FIR between groups. There was no significant difference in frequency of MIR/FIR in thick compared to thin MSAF; however, thick MSAF was associated with higher FIR stage compared to thin MSAF (29.2 versus 5.4%, p = .004). This association was not seen with MIR stage or MIR/FIR grade.

CONCLUSIONS: Histologic MIR and FIR are frequent findings in MSAF. Thick MSAF is associated with higher FIR stage when compared to thin MSAF.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; African Americans; Amniotic Fluid; Case-Control Studies; Chorioamnionitis; Female; Humans; Infant, Newborn; Meconium; Meconium Aspiration Syndrome; Placenta; Pregnancy; Retrospective Studies

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