- Our objective was to evaluate the effect of intravenous magnesium sulphate administration to patients with preterm labour on maternal serum and amniotic fluid IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-10 and TNFalpha concentrations. Thirty-six patients at 24-34 weeks of singleton gestation, who presented with contractions (> or = 8 in 60 min) had amniocentesis to rule out intrauterine infection. The patients received intravenous MgSO4 for tocolysis. Twenty-six patients had amniocentesis performed before initiation of MgSO4 (controls) while 10 others had the procedure during tocolytic therapy (study patients). Magnesium, IL-1beta, IL-6, TNFalpha and IL-10 concentrations were measured. Study and control groups were statistically compared using Student t test. Mean magnesium levels were significantly higher in the study group (P < 0.01). There were no significant differences between the cytokines levels in maternal serum and in amniotic fluid between the groups. Our results suggest that the mechanism of magnesium as a tocolytic agent may not be mediated via the examined cytokines.