OBJECTIVES: Our purpose was to analyze the clinical significance of necrotizing funisitis, an unusual type of chronic inflammation of the umbilical cord, and to determine whether necrotizing funisitis is associated with chronic lung disease in premature infants. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 52 perinatal factors were prospectively assessed in 18 pregnant women and their fetuses in cases of chorioamnionitis at delivery occurring at 22 to 30 gestational weeks; a statistical comparison between the necrotizing funisitis group (n = 5) and the group without necrotizing funisitis (n = 16) was carried out. RESULTS: Significant correlations were found between necrotizing funisitis and the following factors: maternal serum C-reactive protein level on admission (p = 0.014), fetal distress (p = 0.044), umbilical artery blood pH value (p = 0.037) and polynuclear neutrophilic leukocyte count at birth (p = 0.014), chronic lung disease (p = 0.035), need for dexamethasone therapy for chronic lung disease (p = 0.029), duration of oxygen supplementation (p = 0.026), and length of hospital stay (p = 0.026). CONCLUSIONS: There was a significant association between necrotizing funisitis and development of chronic lung disease, suggesting that necrotizing funisitis is an important risk factor for the development of chronic lung disease.
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