Maternal Mortality following Diagnostic 2nd-Trimester Amniocentesis

Uriel Elchalal*, Inbar Ben Shachar, Dan Peleg, Joseph G. Schenker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


We present 2 cases of maternal mortality after transabdominal amniocentesis performed during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. In both these cases, blood cultures revealed Escherichia coli. Broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotic treatment started immediately after admission to the hospital did not change the rapid progression of the disease. Despite evacuation of the uterus within <10 h from the diagnosis of septic abortion and transfer to the intensive care units to treat multiorgan failure, these patients died. Septic abortion and septic shock following transabdominal amniocentesis are very rare; however, they carry a serious risk to the patients' life. The combination of fever and leukopenia several days after amniocentesis should alert the physician to the evolution of sepsis. Because of the risk involved, information given to the patient prior to amniocentesis should refer to possible fetal complications and to the remote possibility of maternal risks as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-198
Number of pages4
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • 2nd trimester
  • Amniocentesis
  • Escherichia coli
  • Maternal mortality
  • Sepsis
  • Septic shock


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