Acute inflammatory lesions of the umbilical cord, along with acute inflammation of the chorionic surface blood vessels (acute chorionic vasculitis), represent the histologic hallmark of the fetal inflammatory response syndrome, a condition characterized by elevated fetal plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and associated with preterm labour and perinatal morbidity. Acute inflammation of the umbilical cord is characterized by infiltration of fetal neutrophils into the umbilical vein (acute phlebitis) umbilical arteries (acute arteritis) and/or Wharton’s jelly. Candida species infection is associated with a characteristic pattern of umbilical cord inflammation, which has been described as peripheral funisitis. Acute funisitis is more frequent in preterm compared to term neonates and is more likely to be associated with adverse outcomes in the preterm neonates, including congenital sepsis and cerebral palsy. Furthermore, acute funisitis in preterm neonates is more likely to include acute arteritis (stage 2) and to be associated with higher fetal levels of IL-6.
KeywordsAcute funisitis Acute arteritis Acute phlebitis Chorionic vasculitis Peripheral funisitis Candida funisitis Necrotising funisitis Interleukin-6 Fetal inflammatory response
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