Aims: Chronic chorioamnionitis is a histological manifestation of maternal anti-fetal cellular rejection. As failure of graft survival is the most catastrophic event in organ transplantation, we hypothesized that fetal death could be a consequence of maternal rejection. The aim of this study was to assess whether there is evidence of cellular and antibody-mediated rejection in fetal death. Methods and results: Placental histology was reviewed for the presence of chronic chorioamnionitis in unexplained preterm fetal death (n=30) and preterm live birth (n=103). Amniotic fluid CXCL10 concentrations were measured with a specific immunoassay. Chronic chorioamnionitis was more frequent in fetal death than in live birth (60.0% versus 37.9%; P<0.05) and fetal death had a higher median amniotic fluid CXCL10 concentration than live birth (2.0 versus 1.8ng/ml, P<0.05), after adjusting for gestational age at amniocentesis. Maternal anti-human leucocyte antigen class II panel-reactive seropositivity determined by flow cytometry was higher in fetal death compared to live birth (35.7% versus 10.9%; P<0.05). Conclusions: Chronic chorioamnionitis is a common pathologic feature in unexplained preterm fetal death. This novel finding suggests that cellular and antibody-mediated anti-fetal rejection of the mother is associated with fetal death (graft failure) in human pregnancy.
- Amniotic fluid
- Panel-reactive antibody
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine