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Regional Anesthesia in Women with Chorioamnionitis
  1. Angela M. Bader, M.D.,
  2. Sanjay Datta, M.D.,
  3. Lesley Gilbertson, M.D. and
  4. Louise Kirz, M.D.
  1. From the Department of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
  1. Address reprint requests to Angela M. Bader, M.D., Department of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis St., Boston, MA 02115.


Background and Objectives. Controversy regarding the use of regional anesthesia in parturients with chorioamnionitis stems from concern that, in bacteremic patients, anesthetic technique may result in infectious complications because of “seeding” of the epidural or subarachnoid space. This study attempts to evaluate the outcome of the parturient with chorioamnionitis based on anesthetic technique.

Methods. Data on chorioamnionitis was collected by review of all obstetric deliveries over a 1-year period with respect to type of anesthetic administered, blood culture results, antibiotic administration, and outcome.

Results. Three hundred nineteen women with chorioamnionitis were identified from a total of 10,047 deliveries over a 1-year period. Bacteremia was found in eight of these patients, three of whom received epidural anesthesia. None had received antibiotics before induction of anesthesia. No infectious complications related to anesthetic technique were found. Mean temperature and leukocyte counts were not significantly different between bacteremic and nonbacteremic groups.

Conclusions. Although the total number of patients in this study is small, there is no evidence that regional anesthesia was detrimental to patients with chorioamnionitis. Factors such as leukocyte count and temperature elevation may not be predictive in identifying the bacteremic subgroup of patients.

  • Anesthesia
  • epidural
  • obstetric
  • chorioamnionitis.

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