This study was undertaken to examine the effects of intrauterine infection and preterm labor on the amniotic fluid concentrations of arachidonate lipoxygenase metabolites in women with premature rupture of membranes. Amniotic fluid was obtained from four groups of women with premature rupture of membranes: group 1, women without labor or infection; group 2, women with labor but without infection; group 3, women with intra-amniotic infection but without labor; and group 4, women with both infection and labor. 12-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, and leukotriene B4 were measured by radioimmunoassays. Amniotic fluid concentrations of 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid were found not to differ significantly among the four groups. Amniotic fluid concentrations of 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid in group 4 were significantly higher than in women in groups 1 and 3 (p less than 0.05). In addition, amniotic fluid concentrations in leukotriene B4 were significantly higher in group 4 than in any of the other three groups (p less than 0.05). Leukotriene B4 concentrations were higher in groups 2 and 3 than in group 1, suggesting that the presence of both labor and infection increases the concentration of this metabolite in amniotic fluid. Infection and labor had an additive effect in the elevation of amniotic fluid concentrations of leukotriene B4. These results suggest that the amniotic fluid concentrations of arachidonate lipoxygenase metabolites are affected differently by the presence of infection and labor in women with premature rupture of membranes.