Evaluation of Phenazopyridine Hydrochloride as a Tool in the Diagnosis of Premature Rupture of the Membranes

B. A. Meyer, B. Gonik, R. K. Creasy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This is a prospective study to determine whether a maternal orally administered azo dye, phenazopyridine hydrochloride, would cross into amniotic fluid, and thus be of potential aid in the diagnosis of rupture of the membranes. Based on anecdotal experience, we hypothesized that this compound would cross the placenta and be excreted in the fetal urine, causing discoloration of the amniotic fluid. Ten patients with uncomplicated pregnancies undergoing elective amniocentesis for obstetric indications received an oral dose of 400 mg of phenazopyridine hydrochloride 4 hours prior to the procedure. Amniotic fluid was also available from five control patients who did not receive phenazopyridine hydrochloride. The typical orange-to-red discoloration of the urine was seen in all study patients, indicating ingestion of the dye. None of the ten patients had evidence of the azo dye in their amniotic fluid by visual inspection or by spectrophotometric absorbance. After the amniotic fluid samples were acidified, the presence of the azo dye was visually demonstrable, and spectrophotometry confirmed measurable concentrations (mean ö SE: 13.08 ö 0.72 ög/ml). We conclude that although phenazopyridine hydrochloride does cross the placenta into the fetal compartment, its presence causes a visual and spectrophotometric change in the color of amniotic fluid only when the normal basic pH of amniotic fluid is acidified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-299
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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