Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

High-risk human papillomavirus infection is associated with premature rupture of membranes

GeumJoon Cho1, Kyung-Jin Min2, Hye-Ri Hong2, SuhngWook Kim3, Jin-Hwa Hong1, Jae-Kwan Lee1, Min-Jeong Oh1* and HaiJoong Kim1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inha University Hospital, Incheon, Korea

3 Department of Biomedical Science, College of Health Sciences, Korea University, Seoul, Korea

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2013, 13:173  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-173

Published: 6 September 2013



Human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to be more prevalent in spontaneous abortions than in elective terminations of pregnancy. More recently, placental infection with HPV was shown to be associated with spontaneous preterm delivery. However, no study has evaluated the prevalence of HPV infection in pregnant Korean females and its association with adverse pregnancy outcomes.


We conducted a cross-sectional study of 311 females who gave birth at Korea University Medical Center. Our sample included 45 preterm deliveries, 50 cases of premature rupture of the membranes (PROM), 21 preeclampsia cases, and 8 gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) patients. We used the Hybrid Capture II system to detect high-risk (HR)-HPV infection at six weeks postpartum.


The prevalence of HR-HPV infection was 14.1%. Women with HR-HPV infection had a higher incidence of PROM than those without HR-HPV. HR-HPV infection was associated with an increased risk of PROM (OR, 2.380; 95% CI, 1.103-5.134). The prevalence of preterm delivery, preeclampsia, or GDM was not different between the two groups.


We observed a high prevalence of HR-HPV infection in pregnant women. Moreover, HR-HPV infection was associated with a risk of PROM at term. Further studies are needed to evaluate mechanisms by which HR-HPV infection induces PROM.

Human papillomavirus; Pregnancy; Complication