What is amniotic fluid sludge?
R. ROMERO, J. P. KUSANOVIC, J. ESPINOZA, F. GOTSCH, C. L. NHAN-CHANG, O. EREZ,C. J. KIM, N. KHALEK, P. MITTAL, L. F. GONCALVES, C. SCHAUDINN, S. S. HASSAN and J. W. COSTERTON
The presence of free-floating hyperechogenic material within the amniotic fluid in close proximity to the uterine cervix (Figures 1 (cover) and and22 and Videoclips S1 and S2) has been described previously in women with an episode of preterm labor1, in women with a history of preterm delivery or threatened preterm labor2, and in asymptomatic women at risk for spontaneous preterm delivery in the mid-trimester of pregnancy3.
We have proposed the term amniotic fluid sludge to refer to this sonographic finding and provided evidence that sludge is an independent risk factor for impending preterm delivery, histological chorioamnionitis and microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity in patients with spontaneous preterm labor and intact membranes1.
Moreover, amniotic fluid sludge has been identified in asymptomatic women at risk for spontaneous preterm delivery in the mid-trimester of pregnancy and is also an independent risk factor for preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (PROM) and spontaneous preterm delivery3. To determine the nature of amniotic fluid sludge, the material collected under sonographic guidance was examined under the microscope and microbiological studies were performed.
Excerpt on the bugs found (dental professionals and moms, take note!):
The amniotic fluid culture was positive for Mycoplasma hominis, Streptococcus mutans and Aspergillus flavus.
Note that this test was a culture. More on this diagnostic later.
Full article and pictures here: What is amniotic fluid