Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of systemic antimicrobial therapy after pre-term premature rupture of the membranes, were included.
Specific interventions included in the review
Antibiotic or antimicrobial therapy using penicillins, extended spectrum penicillins, cephalosporins, erythromycin, or multi-agent therapy with ampicillin, gentamicin and clindamycin.
Participants included in the review
Pregnant women, not in labour, less than 37 weeks' gestation, with pre-term premature rupture of the foetal membrane.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Obstetric outcomes: latency from membrane rupture, admission or randomisation to delivery; maternal infection (chorioamnionitis and febrile morbidity) after delivery; incidence of Caesarean delivery. Foetal/infant morbidity and mortality were also assessed.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Only studies in which the authors aimed to prolong gestation were included. Studies which included women at term and failed to sub-analyse pre-term women were excluded. Studies that included women in labour, and those in which intrapartum antimicrobial treatment was given solely for group B streptococcus prophylaxis were excluded. The authors do not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many of the authors performed the selection.