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Chorioamnionitis increases matrix metalloproteinase-8 concentrations in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from preterm babies
  1. A E Curley1,
  2. D G Sweet1,
  3. K J MacMahon2,
  4. C M O’Connor2,
  5. H L Halliday1
  1. 1Department of Child Health, Queen’s University Belfast, and the Regional Neonatal Unit, Royal Maternity Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  2. 2Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, University College Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Sweet
    Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BB, Northern Ireland;


Objective: To determine the effects of chorioamnionitis and antenatal corticosteroids on matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) concentrations in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid from preterm babies in the first week of life.

Design: Prospective observational study.

Setting: Regional neonatal intensive care unit.

Patients: Thirty five ventilated preterm babies < 33 weeks gestation, seven of whom were born after chorioamnionitis, which was diagnosed histologically as the presence of inflammatory cells in the chorioamnionic plate.

Methods: MMP-8 was measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 90 serial BAL samples taken during the first six postnatal days. The median MMP-8 concentration for each baby was calculated.

Results: Median MMP-8 concentrations were higher in the chorioamnionitis group than in those without (43 v 5 ng/ml). Partial or complete courses of antenatal corticosteroids had no effect on MMP-8 concentrations.

Conclusions: Higher concentrations of MMP-8 are found in BAL fluid from preterm babies from pregnancies complicated by chorioamnionitis. This type I collagenase may contribute to the lung injury that occurs in some babies with respiratory distress syndrome.

  • matrix metalloproteinase 8
  • bronchoalveolar lavage
  • chorioamnionitis
  • chronic lung disease
  • preterm
  • BAL, bronchoalveolar lavage
  • CLD, chronic lung disease
  • IQR, interquartile range
  • MMP-8, matrix metalloproteinase-8

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