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Review: antibiotics improve maternal and fetal outcomes and are safe in preterm, prelabour rupture of membranes

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 QUESTION: In women with preterm, prelabour rupture of membranes, what are the effectiveness and safety of antibiotics for maternal and fetal outcomes?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (from 1966), the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, key journals, and conference proceedings. Where possible, unpublished data were sought from investigators.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials, compared antibiotic use with placebo or different antibiotic regimens, included women with preterm (defined as < 37 wk) rupture of membranes, and reported clinically relevant outcomes.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on antibiotic type, outcomes, and study quality.

Main results

32 trials were identified, and 13 trials that randomised > 6000 women and their babies were included in the review. Most trials …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Ms S Kenyon, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, UK. oracle{at}