This study was undertaken to characterize variations in the management for women with preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) among maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists in the context of current recommendations for clinical practice and evidenced-based practice. We performed a Web-based survey of 1375 MFM providers. Participants were queried on practice characteristics and management issues including use of tocolytics, antibiotics, steroids, and timing of delivery. A total of 508 providers (37%), representing all 50 states and 13 countries, responded to the survey. Only 30% reported a formal departmental protocol for managing women with PPROM. Consistent use of steroids (99.4%) and antibiotics (99.6%) were reported. Administration of steroids was confined to ≤32 weeks by 37%, and ≤34 weeks by 51% of practitioners. Repeated dosing of steroids was uncommon (16%). The antibiotics use and rationale for use varied among respondents. Tocolytics were used by 73% of respondents with magnesium sulfate the main agent used (98%). Use of tocolytics was generally used for 48 hours or less to attain steroid benefit (88%). Amniocentesis was used by 66% of practitioners in the acute evaluation of PPROM. Fetal lung maturity testing was reported by 78% with variability noted with respect to the test used. Outpatient management of women with PPROM after viability was noted by 43% of respondents. Gestational age at which expectant management is abandoned in women with PPROM varied significantly between respondents: ≥34 weeks by 56%, ≥35 weeks by 26%, ≥36 weeks by 12%, and ≥37 weeks by 4.0%. Although many management practices for women with PPROM are consistent with currently available evidence and practice recommendations, substantial variations still exist among MFM providers.
- Expectant management
- Preterm birth
- Preterm premature rupture of membranes