Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 10, Issue 2, Pages 93-96

Apoptosis in the Chorion Laeve of Term Patients With Histologic Chorioamnionitis

1Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3967, Durham, NC 27710, USA
2Division of Neonatal Medicine, , Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA

Received 14 September 2001; Accepted 28 December 2001

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective: The balance between cell survival and cell death (apoptosis) is critical during development and may affect organ function. Apoptosis is accelerated in the presence of infection and inflammation in a variety of organ systems. The objective of this investigation was to determine if apoptosis was increased in the chorion laeve of term patients with and without histologic chorioamnionitis.

Methods: Records of placental pathology were reviewed with respect to the presence/absence of histologic chorioamnionitis. Sections from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded fetal membrane rolls were stained using the TUNEL method. The proportion of apoptotic nuclei was calculated in seven high-powered fields/section. Those with and without histologic chorioamnionitis were compared. Datawere analyzed using the Mann—Whitney U test, with significance defined as p < 0.05.

Results: There was no significant difference in demographic or clinical characteristics between the two groups. The chorion laeve from subjects with histologic chorioamnionitis had significantly more apoptotic nuclei when compared to those without chorioamnionitis (11.2% vs. 5%, p = 0.02).

Conclusion: Apoptosis ismore prevalent in the chorion laeve of fetal membranes with histologic chorioamnionitis. This finding suggests that infection/inflammation may impact cell survivalwithin fetal membranes. The implications of these findings warrant further investigation.