Fetal heart rate abnormalities during and after external cephalic version: Which fetuses are at risk and how are they delivered?
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, October 2017
Simone M. Kuppens, Ida Smailbegovic, Saskia Houterman, Ingrid de Leeuw, Tom H. Hasaart
Fetal heart rate abnormalities (FHR) during and after external cephalic version (ECV) are relatively frequent. They may raise concern about fetal wellbeing. Only occasionally they may lead to an emergency cesarean section. Prospective cohort study in 980 women (> 34 weeks gestation) with a singleton fetus in breech presentation. During and after external cephalic version (ECV) FHR abnormalities were recorded. Obstetric variables and delivery outcome were evaluated. Primary outcome was to identify which fetuses are at risk for FHR abnormalities. Secondary outcome was to identify a possible relationship between FHR abnormalities during and after ECV and mode of delivery and fetal distress during subsequent labor. The overall success rate of ECV was 60% and in 9% of the attempts there was an abnormal FHR pattern. In two cases FHR abnormalities after ECV led to an emergency CS. Estimated fetal weight per 100 g (OR 0.90, CI: 0.87-0.94) and longer duration of the ECV-procedure (OR 1.13, CI: 1.05-1.21) were factors significantly associated with the occurrence of FHR abnormalities. FHR abnormalities were not associated with the mode of delivery or the occurrence of fetal distress during subsequent labor. FHR abnormalities during and after ECV are more frequent with lower estimated fetal weight and longer duration of the procedure. FHR abnormalities during and after ECV have no consequences for subsequent mode of delivery. They do not predict whether fetal distress will occur during labor. The Eindhoven Breech Intervention Study, NCT00516555 . Date of registration: August 13, 2007.
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