The impact of peak and duration of maternal intrapartum fever on perinatal outcomes

Hila Hochler, Michal Lipschuetz, Joshua Guedalia, Gilad Karavani, Sarah M. Cohen, Simcha Yagel, Doron Kabiri, Asnat Walfisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Intrapartum fever is a common perinatal complication, associated with short- and long-term adverse outcomes. Limited data exist regarding the association between the peak and duration of maternal fever and the extent and severity of maternal and neonatal complications. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the association between maternal intrapartum fever peak and duration and perinatal outcomes. STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective cohort analysis of term singleton live births in 2 medical centers between the years 2003 and 2015 was conducted. The study group included parturients who experienced intrapartum fever, defined as a temperature of ≥38.0°C (100.4°F). Fever duration was defined as the time elapsed between the first documented fever and subsequent first documented normal body temperature (<38°C or <100.4°F) or if the temperature did not return to normal until delivery. Adjusted risks for adverse perinatal outcomes were calculated using multiple logistic regression models to control for confounders. RESULTS: A cohort study of 85,713 deliveries was analyzed, of which 1517 (1.8%) parturients experienced fever during delivery. Adverse composite neonatal outcome gradually worsens, in a dose-response manner, with higher maximal maternal temperature. Similar dose-response deterioration was found when maximal parturient temperature was combined with fever duration (P=.015). Higher or longer maternal fever was not independently associated with cesarean or instrumental deliveries (P=.648). Duration alone was not significantly associated with worsening neonatal outcomes (P=.711). CONCLUSION: Maximal intrapartum maternal fever, solely and when combined with fever duration, is correlated with neonatal complications in a dose-dependent manner. Further prospective studies are needed to examine the potential benefit of rigorous maternal body temperature control on perinatal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100390
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology MFM
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • adverse neonatal outcomes
  • cesarean delivery
  • duration
  • interventional delivery
  • intrapartum fever
  • maternal fever
  • maximal
  • peak

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • General Medicine


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