OBJECTIVE: To characterize neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality rates in pregnancies complicated by preterm premature rupture of membranes (PROM) and determine whether there is an optimal delivery gestational age. METHODS: We reviewed maternal and neonatal outcomes of women with PROM 24 weeks or more that resulted in delivery at less than 37 weeks at our institution from August 1998 to August 2000. Standardized management included the use of antibiotics, betamethasone at less than 32 weeks, and expectant management until 24 weeks or more. Outcomes evaluated included neonatal mortality, composite major and minor neonatal morbidity, individual major and minor neonatal morbidity rates, maternal infection morbidity, and maternal and neonatal length of stay. Gestational age-specific maternal and neonatal outcomes were compared with a referent group of pregnancies complicated by preterm PROM that delivered between 36 0/7 and 36 6/7 weeks of gestation. RESULTS: During the study interval, 430 women with preterm PROM were identified. Composite major neonatal morbidity was significantly higher among pregnancies delivered at 33 weeks of gestation or less after preterm PROM as compared with those who delivered at 36 weeks. Composite neonatal minor morbidity was significantly higher among pregnancies delivered at 34 weeks or less after preterm PROM as compared with those who delivered at 36 weeks. However, there was no improvement in the composite major and minor neonatal morbidity rates for those pregnancies delivered beyond 34 weeks of gestation. Both maternal and infant length of stay were significantly longer for cases of preterm PROM delivered at 34 weeks or less as compared with those who delivered at 36 weeks. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that expectant management of women at 34 weeks and beyond is of limited benefit.