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      Timing of Elective Repeat Cesarean Delivery at Term and Neonatal Outcomes

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          Abstract

          Because of increased rates of respiratory complications, elective cesarean delivery is discouraged before 39 weeks of gestation unless there is evidence of fetal lung maturity. We assessed associations between elective cesarean delivery at term (37 weeks of gestation or longer) but before 39 weeks of gestation and neonatal outcomes. We studied a cohort of consecutive patients undergoing repeat cesarean sections performed at 19 centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network from 1999 through 2002. Women with viable singleton pregnancies delivered electively (i.e., before the onset of labor and without any recognized indications for delivery before 39 weeks of gestation) were included. The primary outcome was the composite of neonatal death and any of several adverse events, including respiratory complications, treated hypoglycemia, newborn sepsis, and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (ICU). Of 24,077 repeat cesarean deliveries at term, 13,258 were performed electively; of these, 35.8% were performed before 39 completed weeks of gestation (6.3% at 37 weeks and 29.5% at 38 weeks) and 49.1% at 39 weeks of gestation. One neonatal death occurred. As compared with births at 39 weeks, births at 37 weeks and at 38 weeks were associated with an increased risk of the primary outcome (adjusted odds ratio for births at 37 weeks, 2.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7 to 2.5; adjusted odds ratio for births at 38 weeks, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.3 to 1.7; P for trend <0.001). The rates of adverse respiratory outcomes, mechanical ventilation, newborn sepsis, hypoglycemia, admission to the neonatal ICU, and hospitalization for 5 days or more were increased by a factor of 1.8 to 4.2 for births at 37 weeks and 1.3 to 2.1 for births at 38 weeks. Elective repeat cesarean delivery before 39 weeks of gestation is common and is associated with respiratory and other adverse neonatal outcomes. 2009 Massachusetts Medical Society

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          Maternal and perinatal outcomes associated with a trial of labor after prior cesarean delivery.

          The proportion of women who attempt vaginal delivery after prior cesarean delivery has decreased largely because of concern about safety. The absolute and relative risks associated with a trial of labor in women with a history of cesarean delivery, as compared with elective repeated cesarean delivery without labor, are uncertain. We conducted a prospective four-year observational study of all women with a singleton gestation and a prior cesarean delivery at 19 academic medical centers. Maternal and perinatal outcomes were compared between women who underwent a trial of labor and women who had an elective repeated cesarean delivery without labor. Vaginal delivery was attempted by 17,898 women, and 15,801 women underwent elective repeated cesarean delivery without labor. Symptomatic uterine rupture occurred in 124 women who underwent a trial of labor (0.7 percent). Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy occurred in no infants whose mothers underwent elective repeated cesarean delivery and in 12 infants born at term whose mothers underwent a trial of labor (P<0.001). Seven of these cases of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy followed uterine rupture (absolute risk, 0.46 per 1000 women at term undergoing a trial of labor), including two neonatal deaths. The rate of endometritis was higher in women undergoing a trial of labor than in women undergoing repeated elective cesarean delivery (2.9 percent vs. 1.8 percent), as was the rate of blood transfusion (1.7 percent vs. 1.0 percent). The frequency of hysterectomy and of maternal death did not differ significantly between groups (0.2 percent vs. 0.3 percent, and 0.02 percent vs. 0.04 percent, respectively). A trial of labor after prior cesarean delivery is associated with a greater perinatal risk than is elective repeated cesarean delivery without labor, although absolute risks are low. This information is relevant for counseling women about their choices after a cesarean section. Copyright 2004 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            Risk of respiratory morbidity in term infants delivered by elective caesarean section: cohort study.

            To investigate the association between elective caesarean sections and neonatal respiratory morbidity and the importance of timing of elective caesarean sections. Cohort study with prospectively collected data from the Aarhus birth cohort, Denmark. Obstetric department and neonatal department of a university hospital in Denmark. All liveborn babies without malformations, with gestational ages between 37 and 41 weeks, and delivered between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 2006 (34 458 babies). Respiratory morbidity (transitory tachypnoea of the newborn, respiratory distress syndrome, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn) and serious respiratory morbidity (oxygen therapy for more than two days, nasal continuous positive airway pressure, or need for mechanical ventilation). 2687 infants were delivered by elective caesarean section. Compared with newborns intended for vaginal delivery, an increased risk of respiratory morbidity was found for infants delivered by elective caesarean section at 37 weeks' gestation (odds ratio 3.9, 95% confidence interval 2.4 to 6.5), 38 weeks' gestation (3.0, 2.1 to 4.3), and 39 weeks' gestation (1.9, 1.2 to 3.0). The increased risks of serious respiratory morbidity showed the same pattern but with higher odds ratios: a fivefold increase was found at 37 weeks (5.0, 1.6 to16.0). These results remained essentially unchanged after exclusion of pregnancies complicated by diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and intrauterine growth retardation, or by breech presentation. Compared with newborns delivered vaginally or by emergency caesarean sections, those delivered by elective caesarean section around term have an increased risk of overall and serious respiratory morbidity. The relative risk increased with decreasing gestational age.
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              Neonatal respiratory morbidity and mode of delivery at term: influence of timing of elective caesarean section.

              To establish whether the timing of delivery between 37 and 42 weeks gestation influences neonatal respiratory outcome and thus provide information which can be used to aid planning of elective delivery at term. All cases of respiratory distress syndrome or transient tachypnoea at term requiring admission to the neonatal intensive care unit were recorded prospectively for nine years. Rosie Maternity Hospital, Cambridge. During this time 33,289 deliveries occurred at or after 37 weeks of gestation. This information enabled calculation of the relative risk of respiratory morbidity for respiratory distress syndrome or transient tachypnoea in relation to mode of delivery and onset of parturition for each week of gestation at term. The incidence of respiratory distress syndrome at term was 2.2/1000 deliveries (95% CI; 1.7-2.7). The incidence of transient tachypnoea was 5.7/1000 deliveries (95% CI; 4.9-6.5). The incidence of respiratory morbidity was significantly higher for the group delivered by caesarean section before the onset of labour (35.5/1000) compared with caesarean section during labour (12.2/1000) (odds ratio, 2.9; 95% CI 1.9-4.4; P < 0.001), and compared with vaginal delivery (5.3/1000) (odds ratio, 6.8; 95% CI 5.2-8.9; P < 0.001). The relative risk of neonatal respiratory morbidity for delivery by caesarean section before the onset of labour during the week 37+0 to 37+6 compared with the week 38+0 to 38+6 was 1.74 (95% CI 1.1-2.8; P < 0.02) and during the week 38+0 to 38+6 compared with the week 39+0 to 39+6 was 2.4 (95% CI 1.2-4.8; P < 0.02). A significant reduction in neonatal respiratory morbidity would be obtained if elective caesarean section was performed in the week 39+0 to 39+6 of pregnancy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                January 08 2009
                January 08 2009
                : 360
                : 2
                : 111-120
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa0803267
                2811696
                19129525
                116c2f03-1f70-49ad-9adf-d1e431f6c41d
                © 2009
                History

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