What are the histologic findings in chorioamnionitis?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: Fayez M Bany-Mohammed, MD; Chief Editor: Ted Rosenkrantz, MD  more...
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Gross and microscopic examinations of the placenta, fetal membranes, and umbilical cord for evidence of inflammation and infection are crucial to make a definitive diagnosis of chorioamnionitis. [14]  Histologic chorioamnionitis is a reliable indicator of infection whether or not it is clinically apparent. [199]  Nevertheless, anatomic studies should be correlated with a culture aseptically obtained from the fetal surface of the placenta.

The microbiologic cultures should include an attempt to isolate aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Special microbiologic techniques may be required for certain microorganisms such as Listeria monocytogenes. Only with these methods can the pathologist help the bedside clinician delineate the cause of maternal chorioamnionitis and neonatal sepsis. Clinicians are encouraged to ask pathologists for help in their search for infections causing disease in the pregnant woman, fetus, and newborn. Obstetricians must also obtain the placenta, fetal membranes, and umbilical cord samples for analytical studies when suspicious clinical circumstances are noted.

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