Intervention Review

Antibiotics for prelabour rupture of membranes at or near term

  1. Vicki Flenady1,*,
  2. James F King2

Editorial Group: Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group

Published Online: 22 JUL 2002

Assessed as up-to-date: 23 DEC 2008

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001807

How to Cite

Flenady V, King JF. Antibiotics for prelabour rupture of membranes at or near term. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2002, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001807. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001807.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Mater Health Services, Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) Centre - Mater Medical Research Institute, Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia

  2. 2

    Royal Women's Hospital, Department of Perinatal Medicine, Carlton, Victoria, Australia

*Vicki Flenady, Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) Centre - Mater Medical Research Institute, Mater Health Services, Level 2 Quarters Building, Annerley Road, Woolloongabba, Queensland, 4102, Australia.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: Edited (no change to conclusions)
  2. Published Online: 22 JUL 2002




  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. 摘要


Prelabour rupture of the membranes at or near term (term PROM) increases the risk of infection for the woman and her baby. The routine use of antibiotics for women at the time of term PROM may reduce this risk. However, due to increasing problems with bacterial resistance and the risk of maternal anaphylaxis with antibiotic use, it is important to assess the evidence addressing risks and benefits in order to ensure judicious use of antibiotics. This review was undertaken to assess the balance of risks and benefits to the mother and infant of antibiotic prophylaxis for prelabour rupture of the membranes at or near term.


To assess the effects of antibiotics administered prophylactically to women with prelabour rupture of the membranes at 36 weeks or beyond, on maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes.

Search methods

We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (September 2008).

Selection criteria

All randomised trials which compared outcomes for women and infants when antibiotics were administered prophylactically for prelabour rupture of the membranes at or near term, with outcomes for controls (placebo or no treatment).

Data collection and analysis

Two authors independently extracted the data and assessed trial quality. Additional data were received from the investigators of included trials.

Main results

The results of two trials, involving a total of 838 women, are included in this review. The use of antibiotics resulted in a statistically significant reduction in maternal infectious morbidity (chorioamnionitis or endometritis): (risk ratio (RR) 0.43; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.23 to 0.82); (risk difference (RD) -4%; 95% CI -7% to -1%); (number needed to treat (NNT) 25; 95% CI 14 to100). No statistically significant differences were shown for outcomes of neonatal morbidity. However, one study of 105 women showed a reduction in neonatal length of stay (mean difference -0.90; 95% CI -1.34  to  -0.46).

Authors' conclusions

No clear practice recommendations can be drawn from the results of this review on this clinically important question, related to a paucity of reliable data. Further well-designed randomised controlled trials are needed to assess the effects of routine use of maternal antibiotics for women with prelabour rupture of the membranes at or near term.


Plain language summary

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. 摘要

Antibiotics for prelabour rupture of membranes at or near term

Giving pregnant women antibiotics when their membranes rupture at or near term without the onset of labour may reduce the risk of infections for the women. More research is needed on the safety and impact of the antibiotics on their babies. Sometimes the membranes (creating a bag of liquid around the unborn baby) break when the baby is due without the onset of regular uterine contractions. This is called PROM (prelabour rupture of membranes). When this happens, there is a risk of infection entering the womb (uterus) and affecting the mother and her baby. Most of the women spontaneously start regular uterine contractions within 24 hours, although some do not. The women are often given antibiotics to prevent infection but there are concerns about possible adverse effects of antibiotic use. The other main management strategy is to induce labour with oxytocin.

The review of trials found that routine antibiotics for term PROM reduced the risk of infection of the uterus for the pregnant woman. There was not enough strong evidence about other outcomes, including infections and complications for the baby. Only two trials involving a total of 838 women with PROM were identified. The conclusions from this review are limited by the small numbers of women enrolled in the identified trials and the low rate of maternal infection in the control groups. There is insufficient information in this review to assess possible adverse effects from the use of antibiotics for women or their infants.



  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. 摘要



早期破水或鄰近產期之足月破水(term PROM),會增加母親和胎兒的感染風險。對鄰近產期之足月婦女例行性使用抗生素可以減少此風險。不過,因為有增加細菌抗藥性和母親對於抗生素過敏的風險,評估相關利益和風險的證據就很重要,以確保明智而審慎的使用抗生素。進行此回顧以瞭解用於早期破水或臨產期破水之預防性抗生素,對於母親和嬰兒的利益與風險。




我們搜尋Cochrane Pregnancy和Childbirth Group之控制試驗特定登記資料庫(2005年9月30日)、Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (The Cochrane Library, Issue 4, 2001)、 EDLINE (1965年2001年)。其他來源包括聯絡公認的專家和交叉比較相關資料。




由2位作者獨立評估試驗品質與摘錄資料,之後比較和分析差異。從研究者和納入的試驗獲得額外的資料。使用固定效果模式進行後設分析,以相對危險性(RR)、危險差(RD)、需要治療的病人數目(NNT)等代表各類資料的結果,以平均差(MD)代表測量之變項的連續範圍。所有結果都以95% 信心區間(CI)呈現。


此次回顧納入2篇試驗、838名婦女。使用抗生素對於減少母親感染(絨毛膜羊膜炎或子宮內膜炎)發病率有統計上的顯著意義: RR 0.43 (95% CI為0.23, 0.82), RD −4% (95% CI為 −7%, −1%), NNT 25 (95% CI為14 – 100)。對於新生兒發病率的結果並無統計上的顯著差異。




此翻譯計畫由臺灣國家衛生研究院(National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan)統籌。