Am J Perinatol 1999; Volume 16(Number 9): 0479-0484
DOI: 10.1055/s-1999-6809
Copyright © 1999 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel: +1(212)760-0888 x132

Current Obstetrical Practice and Umbilical Cord Prolapse

Ihab M. Usta, Brian M. Mercer, Baha M. Sibai
  • Caret1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of Tennessee, Memphis
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31. Dezember 1999 (online)


-The aim of this study was to assess the contribution of current obstetrical practice to the occurrence and complications of umbilical cord prolapse. Maternal and neonatal charts of 87 pregnancies complicated by true umbilical cord prolapse during a 5-year period were reviewed. Twin gestation and noncephalic presentations were common features (14 and 41%, respectively). Eighty-nine percent (77) of infants were delivered by cesarean section of which 29% were classical and 88% were primary. The mean gestational age at delivery was 34.0 ± 6.0 weeks, and the mean birth weight was 2318 ± 1159 g. Obstetrical intervention preceded 41 (47%) cases (the obstetrical intervention group): amniotomy (9), scalp electrode application (4), intrauterine pressure catheter insertion (6), attempted external cephalic version (7), expectant management of preterm premature rupture of membranes (14), manual rotation of the fetal head (1), and amnioreduction (1). There were 11 perinatal deaths. Thirty-three percent of the infants (32) had a 5-min Apgar score < 7 and 34% had a cord pH < 7.20. Neonatal seizures, intracerebral hemorrhage, necrotizing enterocolitis, hyaline membrane disease, persistent fetal circulation, sepsis, assisted ventilation, and perinatal mortality were comparable in the "obstetrical intervention" and "no-intervention" groups. Most of the neonatal complications occurred in infants < 32 weeks' gestation. We conclude that obstetrical intervention contributes to 47% of umbilical cord prolapse cases; however, it does not increase the associated perinatal morbidity and mortality.