Mode of Delivery Following Successful External Cephalic Version: Comparison With Spontaneous Cephalic Presentations at Delivery
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OBJECTIVE: To compare the obstetric outcomes of pregnant women after successful external cephalic version (ECV) (cases) with a large group of pregnant women with a spontaneously occurring cephalic fetal position at delivery (controls). METHODS: We conducted a retrospective matched cohort study in a teaching hospital in the Netherlands. Delivery outcomes of women with a successful ECV were compared with those of women with spontaneously occurring cephalic presentations, controlling for maternal age, parity, gestational age at delivery, and onset of labour (spontaneous or induced). Exclusion criteria were a history of Caesarean section, delivery at < 35 weeks, and elective Caesarean section. The primary outcome was the prevalence of Caesarean section and instrumental delivery in both groups; secondary outcomes were the characteristics of cases requiring intervention such as Caesarean section or instrumental delivery. RESULTS: Women who had a successful ECV had a significantly higher Caesarean section rate than the women in the control group (33/220 [15%] vs. 62/1030 [6.0 %]; P < 0.001). There was no difference in the incidence of instrumental delivery (20/220 [9.1%] vs. 103/1030 [10%]). Comparison of characteristics of women in the cases group showed that nulliparity, induction of labour, and occiput posterior presentation were associated with Caesarean section and instrumental deliveries. CONCLUSION: Compared with delivery of spontaneous cephalic presenta-tions, delivery of cephalic presenting babies following successful ECV is associated with an increased rate of Caesarean section, especially in nulliparous women and women whose labour is induced.
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