Association between intrapartum magnesium administration and the incidence of maternal fever: A retrospective cross-sectional study

Elizabeth M.S. Lange*, Scott Segal, Carlo Pancaro, Cynthia A. Wong, William A. Grobman, Gregory B. Russell, Paloma Toledo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Intrapartum maternal fever is associated with several adverse neonatal outcomes. Intrapartum fever can be infectious or inflammatory in etiology. Increases in interleukin 6 and other inflammatory markers are associated with maternal fever. Magnesium has been shown to attenuate interleukin 6-mediated fever in animal models. We hypothesized that parturients exposed to intrapartum magnesium would have a lower incidence of fever than nonexposed parturients. Methods: In this study, electronic medical record data from all deliveries at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago, Illinois) between 2007 and 2014 were evaluated. The primary outcome was intrapartum fever (temperature at or higher than 38.0°C). Factors associated with the development of maternal fever were evaluated using a multivariable logistic regression model. Propensity score matching was used to reduce potential bias from nonrandom selection of magnesium administration. Results: Of the 58,541 women who met inclusion criteria, 5,924 (10.1%) developed intrapartum fever. Febrile parturients were more likely to be nulliparous, have used neuraxial analgesia, and have been delivered via cesarean section. The incidence of fever was lower in women exposed to magnesium (6.0%) than those who were not (10.2%). In multivariable logistic regression, women exposed to magnesium were less likely to develop a fever (adjusted odds ratio = 0.42 [95% CI, 0.31 to 0.58]). After propensity matching (N = 959 per group), the odds ratio of developing fever was lower in women who received magnesium therapy (odds ratio = 0.68 [95% CI, 0.48 to 0.98]). Conclusions: Magnesium may play a protective role against the development of intrapartum fever. Future work should further explore the association between magnesium dosing and the incidence of maternal fever.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)942-952
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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