Previable preterm premature rupture of membranes: 117 cases with neonatal outcomes in light of current research

Paulsen, V., Jakob, M., Gembruch, U., Heep, A., Bartmann, P. | JNPM 2023;

Abstract: BACKGROUND: ppPROM < 24 + 0 weeks of gestation complicates < 1 % of all pregnancies but is responsible for significant maternal and neonatal morbidity. It is associated with 18–20% of perinatal deaths. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate neonatal outcome after expectant management in ppPROM in order to obtain evidence-based information for purposes of future counselling. METHODS: A single-centre, retrospective cohort study of 117 neonates born 1994 to 2012 after ppPROM < 24 weeks of gestation with a latency period > 24 hours and admission to the NICU of the Department of Neonatology, University of Bonn. Data of pregnancy characteristics and neonatal outcome were collected. The results were compared to those found in the literature. RESULTS: The mean gestational age at ppPROM was 20.45±2,9 weeks (range 11 + 2 –22 + 6) with a mean latency period of 44.7±34.8 days (range 1–135). Mean gestational age at birth was 26.77±3.22 weeks (range 22 + 2–35 + 3). 117 newborns were admitted to the NICU, the overall survival rate at discharge was 72.6% (85/117). Non-survivors had a significantly lower gestational age and higher rates of intra-amniotic infections. The most common neonatal morbidities were RDS (76.1%), BPD (22.2%), pulmonary hypoplasia (PH) (14.5%), neonatal sepsis (37.6%), IVH (34.1% all grades, 17.9% grades III/IV), NEC (8.5%) and musculoskeletal deformities (13.7%). Mild growth restriction as a new complication of ppPROM was observed. CONCLUSIONS: Neonatal morbidity after expectant management is similar to that described for infants without ppPROM, but carries a higher risk of pulmonary hypoplasia and mild growth restriction.

*Corresponding Author: 

Verena Paulsen, Children’s and Adolescent’s Hospital, University Hospital of Cologne, Kerpener Straße 62, 50937 Cologne, Germany. Tel.: 004922147840687; E-mail: