3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Pregnant women have an increased risk of infections, and early and decisive treatment is preferred to prevent complications. Although ciprofloxacin is very commonly used, safety aspects of maternal treatment during pregnancy are limited, and avoidance of its use during late pregnancy is recommended.

OBJECTIVE: The aim is to estimate maternal-to-fetal transfer clearance of ciprofloxacin at a therapeutic concentration and to determine fetal exposure to maternally administered ciprofloxacin.

STUDY DESIGN: Transplacental pharmacokinetics were determined with an ex vivo placental model, which is a reliable experimental model for estimating fetal drug exposure. Human placentas from uncomplicated term pregnancies were collected after delivery and a suitable cotyledon was cannulated. Ciprofloxacin was added at a therapeutic concentration (1.6 μg/mL) to the maternal compartment, and antipyrine was included as a reference drug (10.0 μg/mL). Samples were collected from the maternal and fetal compartment at 12 time points (-2 to 180 minutes), and the integrity and metabolic parameters were measured consecutively. Drug concentrations were determined using ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

RESULTS: A total of 5 human placentas from healthy term pregnancies were collected after delivery and cannulated with success. Ciprofloxacin crossed the placenta; its mean concentration in the fetal compartment was 0.3 μg/mL, accounting for 22% (0.29/1.30; range, 15%-31%) of the maternal concentration after 3 hours. The fetal/maternal ciprofloxacin concentration ratio increased gradually over time and reached 0.53. The transfer clearance for ciprofloxacin was 0.28 mL/min (range, 0.21-0.41 mL/min) during the first hour and 0.21 mL/min (range, 0.14-0.26 mL/min) during the following 2 hours. After end perfusion, the mean tissue concentration and proportion of ciprofloxacin were 0.7 μg/g and 11% (14/130; range, 7%-14%), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Ciprofloxacin crossed the placenta at a slow, constant rate, indicating moderate fetal exposure. This study verifies an accumulation of ciprofloxacin in the placenta that may lengthen the duration of fetal exposure. These results are an essential element of fetal risk assessment, but further studies are needed to estimate fetal safety.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)670.e1-670.e9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • ciprofloxacin
  • fetal exposure
  • perfusion model
  • placental transfer
  • pregnancy
  • tissue accumulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Therapeutic concentration of ciprofloxacin and transfer across the human term placenta'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this