The safest delivery mode of extremely preterm breech singletons is unknown.
To determine safest delivery mode of actively resuscitated extremely preterm breech singletons.
We searched Cochrane
CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHLand ClinicalTrials.gov from January 1994 to May 2017. Selection criteria
We included studies comparing outcomes by delivery mode in actively resuscitated breech infants between 23+0 and 27+6 weeks.
Data collection and analysis
We synthesised data using random effects, generated odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals and number‐needed‐to‐treat (
NNT). Our primary outcomes were death (neonatal, before discharge, or by 6 months) and severe intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III/ IV), stratified by gestational age (23+0–24+6, 25+0–26+6, 27+0–27+6 weeks). Main results
We included 15 studies with 12 335 infants. We found that caesarean section was associated with a 41% decrease in odds of death between 23+0 and 27+6 weeks [odds ratio (
OR) 0.59, 95% CI0.36–0.95, NNT8], with the greatest decrease at 23+0–24+6 weeks ( OR0.58, 95% CI0.44–0.75, NNT7). The ORat 25+0–26+6 and 27+0–27+6 weeks were 0.72 (95% CI0.34–1.52) and 2.04 (95% CI0.20–20.62), respectively. We found that caesarean section was associated with 49% decrease in odds of severe intraventricular haemorrhage between 23+0 and 27+6 weeks ( OR0.51, 95% CI0.29–0.91, NNT12), whereas the ORat 25+0–26+6 and 27+0–27+6 was 0.29 (95% CI0.07–1.12) and 0.91 (95% CI0.27–3.05), respectively. Conclusions
Caesarean section was associated with reductions in the odds of death by 41% and of severe intraventricular haemorrhage by 49% in actively resuscitated breech singletons < 28 weeks of gestation. The data are mostly observational, which may be inherently biased, and scarce on other morbidities, necessitating thorough discussion between parents and clinicians.
Caesarean section associated with lower odds of death and severe intraventricular haemorrhage in actively resuscitated breech singletons <28 weeks.