Smith EJ, Muller CL, Sartorius JA, White DR, Maslow AS. C-Reactive Protein as a Predictor of Chorioamnionitis. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2012;112(10):660–664. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2012.112.10.660.
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Context: Chorioamnionitis (CAM) affects many pregnancies complicated by preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM). Finding a serum factor that could accurately predict the presence of CAM could potentially lead to more efficient management of PPROM and improved neonatal outcomes.
Objective: To determine if C-reactive protein (CRP) is an effective early marker of CAM in patients with PPROM.
Methods: A retrospective evaluation of pregnant women with PPROM at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania, between January 2005 and January 2009. Nonparametric statistical tests (ie, Wilcoxon rank sum and Spearman rank correlation) were used to compare distributions that were skewed. Characteristics of the study population were compared using 2-sample t tests for continuous variables and Fisher exact tests for discrete variables. Logistic regression analysis was used to generate receiver operating characteristic curves and obtain area under the curve estimates in stepwise fashion for predicting histologic CAM. A secondary analysis compared the characteristics among patients with clinical CAM, histologic CAM, or non-CAM.
Results: The total population of 73 women was subdivided into patients with histologic CAM (n=26) and patients without histologic CAM (ie, no evidence of CAM on placental pathology; n=47). There was no difference between groups in CRP levels, days of pregnancy latency, white blood cell count, smoking status, antibiotic administration, or steroid benefit. The group with histologic CAM delivered at earlier gestational ages: mean (standard deviation) age was 29.5 (4.4) weeks vs 31.9 (3.5) weeks (P=.02). For our primary analysis, we found no difference in CRP levels (P=.32). Receiver operating characteristic curve plots of CRP levels, temperature at delivery, and white blood cell count resulted in an area under the curve estimate of 0.696, which was 70% predictive of histologic CAM. In the secondary analysis, after adjusting for gestational age, the estimated hazard ratio for CRP change was 1.05 (95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.08; P=.001). Therefore, increasing CRP levels from PPROM was statistically significant in predicting clinical CAM development over time.
Conclusion: C-reactive protein levels were not effective independent predictors of clinical or histologic CAM, nor was sequential CRP testing statistically significant for the identification of clinical or histologic CAM in patients with PPROM.
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