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Also known as intra-amniotic infection, chorioamnionitis is an inflammation of the membranes and chorion of the placenta, due to a bacterial infection. It typically results from bacteria ascending into the uterus from the vagina and is associated with longer duration of membrane rupture and/or prolonged labour. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Maternal fever (intrapartum temperature >37.8°C)
  • Significant maternal tachycardia (>120 beats/min)
  • Fetal tachycardia (>160-180 beats/min)
  • Purulent or foul-smelling amniotic fluid or vaginal discharge
  • Uterine tenderness
  • Maternal leukocytosis (total blood leukocyte count >15,000-18,000 cells/?L)

The presence of two or more of the above criteria indicate an increased risk of neonatal sepsis.

Further reading

Medscape (2016). Chorioamnionitis. Available at: MSD Manual (2014) Intra-Amniotic Infection (Chorioamnionitis). Available at:

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