Role of umbilical interleukin-6, procalcitonin and C-reactive protein measurement in the diagnosis of fetal inflammatory response syndrome

Authors: Straňák Z. 1,2;  Berka I. 1,2;  Širc J. 1,2;  Urbánek J. 1;  Feyereisl J. 1,2;  Korček P. 1,2
Authors‘ workplace: Ústav pro péči o matku a dítě, Praha 1;  3. LF UK, Praha 2
Published in: Ceska Gynekol 2021; 86(2): 80-85
Category: Original Article
doi: 10.48095/cccg202180


Objective: Fetal Inflammatory Response Syndrome (FIRS) is a serious complication accompanied by increased neonatal mortality and morbidity. Early dia­gnosis of FIRS is essential to detect high risk infants. The aim of the study was to evaluate the correlation between interleukin-6 
(IL-6), procalcitonin (PCT), C-reactive protein (CRP) in cord blood and histologically proven funisitis/ chorioamnionitis in high-risk infants after preterm birth. Methods: Blood sampling for the measurement of inflammatory bio­markers was performed immediately after placental delivery and umbilical cutting. Umbilical and placental inflammatory changes were assessed using a recently released scoring system (Amsterdam Placental Workshop Group Consensus). Results: One hundred preterm infants (30.5 ± 2.5 gestational week, birth weight 1,443 ± 566 grams) and 21 health term infants were analyzed. Histologic chorioamnionitis was confirmed in 19% cases and chorioamnionitis with funisitis in 7% cases. Thirty-three infants (33%) fulfilled criteria of FIRS (funistis and/ or umbilical IL-6 > 11 ng/ L). The presence of FIRS correlated significantly with maternal leukocytosis (P < 0.001), preterm premature rupture of membrane (P < 0.001) and preterm uterine contraction (P < 0.0001). In comparison to preterm and healthy term infants we found statistically significant higher levels of umbilical inflammatory bio­markers (IL-6, PCT, CRP) in FIRS group (P < 0.0001). Composite mortality and morbidity (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, intraventricular haemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia) was higher in FIRS group (28.1 vs 22.4% in preterm group). However, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.53). Conclusion: Our study confirmed the correlation of umbilical inflammatory bio­markers levels (IL-6, PCT, CRP) and the presence of FIRS. We did not find significant adverse impact of FIRS on neonatal mortality and morbidity. Nevertheless, our results could be influenced by the size of study group and strict inclusion criteria (only cases after C-section were analyzed).


fetal inflammatory response syndrome – neonatal mortality – morbidity – interleukin-6 – C-reactive protein – procalcitonin – chorioamnionitis and funisitis


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Paediatric gynaecology Gynaecology and obstetrics Reproduction medicine

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