Acute chorioamnionitis comprises acute inflammation of the chorionic plate of the placenta, the amniochorial membrane and umbilical cord. Most cases are the result of acute bacterial infection of the amniotic fluid/amniotic cavity, with the potential to spread to the fetus, to initiate preterm labour or to cause maternal sepsis.
In the chorionic plate, maternal and fetal components to the inflammatory response can be recognised by histological examination. Both elements can show a range of extent and severity, which should be recorded in the histology report, either descriptively or as a grade and stage.
The fetal inflammatory component has implications for a number of serious neonatal and long-term morbidities, particularly in premature infants.
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