In a study of 82 cases of clinical chorioamnionitis in which no antibiotics were administered antenatally, significant villous edema was observed in 51 placentas (62%). Polymorphonuclear leukocyte invasion of the placental plate was found in 53 placentas (65%). the presence of SVE was significantly associated with placental bacterial recovery, occurrence of prolonged rupture of membranes, lower one minute Apgar score, the need for resuscitation and significant neonatal respiratory problems. Findings suggest that bacteria-related placental villous edema can lead to significant perinatal and neonatal morbidities.