Chorioamnionitis (CAM) is a major risk factor for neonatal sepsis. At our institution, neonates exposed to CAM and intrapartum antibiotics are treated with prolonged antimicrobial therapy if laboratory values are abnormal despite a sterile blood culture. Recently, the Committee on the Fetus and Newborn (COFN) recommended a similar strategy for treating neonates exposed to CAM. Our objective was to determine the frequency of abnormal laboratory parameters in term and late-preterm neonates exposed to CAM and evaluate the implication of recent COFN guidelines.
This retrospective data analysis included late-preterm and term neonates exposed to CAM. Laboratory parameters, clinical symptoms and the number of infants treated with prolonged antibiotics were determined.
A total of 554 infants met the inclusion criteria. Eighty-three infants (14.9%) had an abnormal immature to total neutrophil ratio (>0.2) and 121 infants (22%) had an abnormal C-reactive protein level (>1 mg/dL) at 12 hours of age. A total of 153 infants (27.6%) had an abnormal immature to total neutrophil ratio and/or abnormal C-reactive protein level at 12 hours of age. Only 4 (0.7%) of 554 infants had a positive blood culture result. A total of 134 (24.2%) infants were treated with prolonged antibiotics (112 [20.2%] were treated solely based on abnormal laboratory data). Lumbar puncture was performed in 120 (21.6%) infants.
When managed by using a strategy similar to recent COFN guidelines, a large number of term and late-preterm infants exposed to CAM who had sterile blood culture findings were treated with prolonged antibiotic therapy due to abnormal laboratory findings. They were also subjected to additional invasive procedures and had a longer duration of hospitalization.