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Obstetrician & Gynecologist (OB/GYN)
44 years of experience
Accepting new patients
Video profile

Credentials

Education ?

Medical School Score
Creighton University (1968)
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Awards & Distinctions ?

Awards  
One of America's Leading Experts on:
Pregnancy Complications (Cardiovascular)
Pregnancy Complications (Infectious)
Associations
American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Affiliations ?

Dr. Leveno is affiliated with 8 hospitals.

Hospital Affiliations

Score

Rankings

  • UT Southwestern University Hospital - St. Paul
    5909 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75235
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    Top 25%
  • Parkland Health & Hospital System
    5201 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75235
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  • TX Health Dallas
  • Dallas County Hospital District
  • St Paul Medical Center
  • UT Southwestern St Paul Hospital
  • Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
  • Methodist Dallas Medical Center
  • Publications & Research

    Dr. Leveno has contributed to 223 publications.
    Title Urodynamic Indices and Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification 3 Months After Vaginal Delivery in Primiparous Women.
    Date February 2012
    Journal International Urogynecology Journal
    Excerpt

    This study aims to describe multichannel urodynamic indices and pelvic organ prolapse quantification (POP-Q) in primiparous women 3 months after vaginal delivery.

    Title Maternal Insulin Resistance and Preeclampsia.
    Date June 2011
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether mid-trimester insulin resistance is associated with subsequent preeclampsia.

    Title Absence of Mitochondrial Progesterone Receptor Polymorphisms in Women with Spontaneous Preterm Birth.
    Date December 2010
    Journal Reproductive Sciences (thousand Oaks, Calif.)
    Excerpt

    The truncated mitochondrial progesterone receptor (PR-M) is homologous to nuclear PRs with the exception of an amino terminus hydrophobic membrane localization sequence, which localizes PR-M to mitochondria. Given the matrilineal inheritance of both spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) and the mitochondrial genome, we hypothesized that (a) PR-M is polymorphic and (b) PR-M localization sequence polymorphisms could result in variable progesterone-mitochondrial effects and variable responsiveness to progesterone prophylaxis.

    Title Maternal Serum Interleukin-6, C-reactive Protein, and Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Concentrations As Risk Factors for Preterm Birth <32 Weeks and Adverse Neonatal Outcomes.
    Date December 2010
    Journal American Journal of Perinatology
    Excerpt

    Elevated concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in fetal and neonatal compartments have been associated with an increased risk for preterm birth (PTB) and/or neonatal morbidity. The purpose of this study was to determine if the maternal serum concentration of IL-6, CRP, and MMP-9 in women at risk for PTB, who are not in labor and have intact membranes, are associated with an increased risk for PTB <32 weeks and/or neonatal morbidity. Maternal serum samples collected from 475 patients enrolled in a multicenter randomized controlled trial of single versus weekly corticosteroids for women at increased risk for preterm delivery were assayed. Serum was collected at randomization (24 to 32 weeks' gestation). Maternal serum concentrations of IL-6, CRP, and MMP-9 were subsequently determined using enzyme-linked immunoassays. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to explore the relationship between maternal serum concentrations of IL-6, CRP, and MMP-9 and PTB <32 weeks, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), chronic lung disease (CLD), intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), and any sepsis. Maternal serum concentrations of IL-6 and CRP, but not MMP-9, above the 90th percentile at the time of randomization were associated with PTB <32 weeks. In contrast, there was no significant relationship between RDS and NEC and the maternal serum concentration of IL-6, CRP, or MMP-9 (univariate analysis). The development of CLD was associated with a high (above 90th percentile) IL-6 and CRP in maternal serum, even after adjustment for gestational age (GA) at randomization and treatment group. However, when GA at delivery was added to the model, this finding was nonsignificant. Neonatal sepsis was more frequent in neonates born to mothers with a high maternal serum concentration of CRP (>90th percentile). However, there was no significant association after adjustment for GA at randomization and treatment group. Logistic regression analysis for each analyte indicated that high maternal serum concentrations of IL-6 and CRP, but not MMP-9, were associated with an increased risk of IVH (odds ratio [OR] 4.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.86 to 10.68; OR 4.07, 95% CI 1.63 to 9.50) after adjusting for GA at randomization and treatment group. Most babies (25/30) had grade I IVH. When GA at delivery was included, elevated IL-6 remained significantly associated with IVH (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.02 to 7.09). An elevated maternal serum concentration of IL-6 and CRP are risk factors for PTB <32 weeks and subsequent development of neonatal IVH. An elevated maternal serum IL-6 appears to confer additional risk for IVH even after adjusting for GA at delivery.

    Title Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes of Repeat Cesarean Delivery in Women with a Prior Classical Versus Low Transverse Uterine Incision.
    Date November 2010
    Journal American Journal of Perinatology
    Excerpt

    We compared maternal and neonatal outcomes following repeat cesarean delivery (CD) of women with a prior classical CD with those with a prior low transverse CD. The Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network Cesarean Delivery Registry was used to identify women with one previous CD who underwent an elective repeat CD prior to the onset of labor at ≥36 weeks. Outcomes were compared between women with a previous classical CD and those with a prior low transverse CD. Of the 7936 women who met study criteria, 122 had a prior classical CD. Women with a prior classical CD had a higher rate of classical uterine incision at repeat CD (12.73% versus 0.59%; P < 0.001), had longer total operative time and hospital stay, and had higher intensive care unit admission. Uterine dehiscence was more frequent in women with a prior classical CD (2.46% versus 0.27%, odds ratio 9.35, 95% confidence interval 1.76 to 31.93). After adjusting for confounding factors, there were no statistical differences in major maternal or neonatal morbidities between groups. Uterine dehiscence was present at repeat CD in 2.46% of women with a prior classical CD. However, major maternal morbidities were similar to those with a prior low transverse CD.

    Title Pregnancy Outcomes After Orthopedic Trauma.
    Date September 2010
    Journal The Journal of Trauma
    Excerpt

    This study was performed to determine the effects of orthopedic trauma on pregnancy outcomes in pregnant trauma patients.

    Title The Effect of Plurality and Obesity on Betamethasone Concentrations in Women at Risk for Preterm Delivery.
    Date September 2010
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) decrease respiratory distress syndrome in singleton gestations. Twin data are less clear. Obesity and body mass index (BMI) also affect medication distribution volume. We evaluated whether maternal or neonatal cord betamethasone concentrations differed in twin gestations or obese patients.

    Title Ultrasonographic Cervical Length and Risk of Hemorrhage in Pregnancies with Placenta Previa.
    Date September 2010
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To estimate the relationship between cervical length and hemorrhage leading to preterm delivery in women with placenta previa.

    Title Vitamin C and E Supplementation to Prevent Spontaneous Preterm Birth: a Randomized Controlled Trial.
    Date September 2010
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To estimate whether maternally administered vitamins C and E lower the risk of spontaneous preterm birth.

    Title Association of Fetal Inflammation and Coagulation Pathway Gene Polymorphisms with Neurodevelopmental Delay at Age 2 Years.
    Date September 2010
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between fetal inflammation and coagulation gene single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and neurodevelopmental delay at age 2 years.

    Title Comparison of Transverse and Vertical Skin Incision for Emergency Cesarean Delivery.
    Date June 2010
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To compare incision-to-delivery intervals and related maternal and neonatal outcomes by skin incision in primary and repeat emergent cesarean deliveries.

    Title Vitamins C and E to Prevent Complications of Pregnancy-associated Hypertension.
    Date April 2010
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    Oxidative stress has been proposed as a mechanism linking the poor placental perfusion characteristic of preeclampsia with the clinical manifestations of the disorder. We assessed the effects of antioxidant supplementation with vitamins C and E, initiated early in pregnancy, on the risk of serious adverse maternal, fetal, and neonatal outcomes related to pregnancy-associated hypertension.

    Title The Effect of Maternal Body Mass Index on Neonatal Outcome in Women Receiving a Single Course of Antenatal Corticosteroids.
    Date April 2010
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    The aim of this study was to determine the effect of maternal body mass index on the incidence of neonatal prematurity morbidities in those who receive corticosteroids.

    Title Influence of Maternal Asthma and Asthma Severity on Newborn Morphometry.
    Date April 2010
    Journal The Journal of Asthma : Official Journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma
    Excerpt

    To determine if maternal asthma or asthma severity affects newborn morphometry.

    Title Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure and Risk of Preterm Birth.
    Date March 2010
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To examine whether preterm birth is related to the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) itself or intrinsic to the women undergoing the procedure.

    Title Failed Operative Vaginal Delivery.
    Date March 2010
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To compare maternal and neonatal outcomes in women undergoing second-stage cesarean delivery after a trial of operative vaginal delivery with those in women undergoing second-stage cesarean delivery without such an attempt.

    Title The Relationship of Asthma-specific Quality of Life During Pregnancy to Subsequent Asthma and Perinatal Morbidity.
    Date February 2010
    Journal The Journal of Asthma : Official Journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma
    Excerpt

    To determine whether asthma-specific quality of life during pregnancy is related to asthma exacerbations and to perinatal outcomes.

    Title Effects of Magnesium Sulfate on Preterm Fetal Cerebral Blood Flow Using Doppler Analysis: a Randomized Controlled Trial.
    Date January 2010
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To estimate the effects of maternal administration of magnesium sulfate on the fetal middle cerebral artery using Doppler.

    Title White's Classification of Maternal Diabetes and Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery Success in Women Undergoing a Trial of Labor.
    Date January 2010
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To estimate the rate of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC) success in diabetic women based on White's Classification.

    Title Does Information Available at Admission for Delivery Improve Prediction of Vaginal Birth After Cesarean?
    Date January 2010
    Journal American Journal of Perinatology
    Excerpt

    We sought to construct a predictive model for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) that combines factors that can be ascertained only as the pregnancy progresses with those known at initiation of prenatal care. Using multivariable modeling, we constructed a predictive model for VBAC that included patient factors known at the initial prenatal visit as well as those that only become evident as the pregnancy progresses to the admission for delivery. We analyzed 9616 women. The regression equation for VBAC success included multiple factors that could not be known at the first prenatal visit. The area under the curve for this model was significantly greater ( P < 0.001) than that of a model that included only factors available at the first prenatal visit. A prediction model for VBAC success, which incorporates factors that can be ascertained only as the pregnancy progresses, adds to the predictive accuracy of a model that uses only factors available at a first prenatal visit.

    Title The Frequency and Complication Rates of Hysterectomy Accompanying Cesarean Delivery.
    Date September 2009
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To estimate the frequency, indications, and complications of cesarean hysterectomy.

    Title Bone Metabolism in Fetuses of Pregnant Women Exposed to Single and Multiple Courses of Corticosteroids.
    Date August 2009
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To estimate the effect of single and recurrent doses of antenatal corticosteroids on fetal bone metabolism.

    Title Weekly Compared with Daily Blood Glucose Monitoring in Women with Diet-treated Gestational Diabetes.
    Date June 2009
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To estimate whether daily blood glucose self-monitoring reduces macrosomia when compared with weekly office testing in women with gestational diabetes.

    Title Whole Blood in the Management of Hypovolemia Due to Obstetric Hemorrhage.
    Date June 2009
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To study the use of blood products including whole blood, for the management of obstetric hemorrhage requiring transfusion.

    Title The Prognosis for Spontaneous Labor in Women with Uncomplicated Term Pregnancies: Implications for Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request.
    Date May 2009
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To assess the prognosis for vaginal delivery in women with entirely normal pregnancies who began spontaneous labor at term.

    Title Decreased Preterm Births in an Inner-city Public Hospital.
    Date April 2009
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To examine preterm births among African-American and Hispanic women who delivered at an inner-city public hospital in the context of contemporaneously increasing rates in the United States.

    Title Timing of Elective Repeat Cesarean Delivery at Term and Neonatal Outcomes.
    Date January 2009
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    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.

    Title Bone Metabolism in Pregnant Women Exposed to Single Compared with Multiple Courses of Corticosteroids.
    Date July 2008
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To compare markers of maternal bone metabolism between women who received a single compared with multiple courses of antenatal corticosteroids. METHODS: This is an analysis of serum samples from a previously reported randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Women at risk for preterm delivery after an initial course of corticosteroids were randomly assigned to weekly courses of betamethasone (active) or placebo. Serum levels of carboxy terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PICP) and cross-linked carboxy terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) were measured to assess the rate of bone formation and resorption, respectively, at three time points. The placebo group (n=93) was compared with the active group, receiving four or more courses of betamethasone (n=112). RESULTS: There were significant (P<.001) increases in PICP and ICTP between baseline and delivery in both groups. Cross-linked carboxy terminal telopeptide of type I collagen, but not PICP, was lower with corticosteroid exposure immediately before administration of the fourth study course (P<.001). No significant differences in PICP and ICTP were seen between groups at delivery. CONCLUSION: Increasing levels of PICP and ICTP with advancing gestation are consistent with physiologic changes in maternal bone metabolism. Multiple courses of corticosteroids for fetal maturation are not associated with persistent or cumulative effects on maternal bone metabolism as measured by PICP and ICTP. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

    Title Prediction of Uterine Rupture Associated with Attempted Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery.
    Date July 2008
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to develop a model that predicts individual-specific risk of uterine rupture during an attempted vaginal birth after cesarean delivery. STUDY DESIGN: Women with 1 previous low-transverse cesarean delivery who underwent a trial of labor with a term singleton were identified in a concurrently collected database of deliveries that occurred at 19 academic centers during a 4-year period. We analyzed different classification techniques in an effort to develop an accurate prediction model for uterine rupture. RESULTS: Of the 11,855 women who were available for analysis, 83 women (0.7%) had had a uterine rupture. The optimal final prediction model, which was based on a logistic regression, included 2 variables: any previous vaginal delivery (odds ratio, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.27-0.71) and induction of labor (odds ratio, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.11-2.69). This model, with a c-statistic of 0.627, had poor discriminating ability and did not allow the determination of a clinically useful estimate of the probability of uterine rupture for an individual patient. CONCLUSION: Factors that were available before or at admission for delivery cannot be used to predict accurately the relatively small proportion of women at term who will experience a uterine rupture during an attempted vaginal birth after cesarean delivery.

    Title The Effect of Body Mass Index on Therapeutic Response to Bacterial Vaginosis in Pregnancy.
    Date July 2008
    Journal American Journal of Perinatology
    Excerpt

    Our objective was to determine the effect of body mass index (BMI) on response to bacterial vaginosis (BV) treatment. A secondary analysis was conducted of two multicenter trials of therapy for BV and TRICHOMONAS VAGINALIS. Gravida were screened for BV between 8 and 22 weeks and randomized between 16 and 23 weeks to metronidazole or placebo. Of 1497 gravida with asymptomatic BV and preconceptional BMI, 738 were randomized to metronidazole; BMI was divided into categories: < 25, 25 to 29.9, and > or = 30. Rates of BV persistence at follow-up were compared using the Mantel-Haenszel chi square. Multiple logistic regression was used to evaluate the effect of BMI on BV persistence at follow-up, adjusting for potential confounders. No association was identified between BMI and BV rate at follow-up ( P = 0.21). BMI was associated with maternal age, smoking, marital status, and black race. Compared with women with BMI of < 25, adjusted odds ratio (OR) of BV at follow-up were BMI 25 to 29.9: OR, 0.66, 95% CI 0.43 to 1.02; BMI > or = 30: OR, 0.83, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.26. We concluded that the persistence of BV after treatment was not related to BMI.

    Title Rising Cesarean Delivery and Preterm Birth Rates: Are They Related?
    Date May 2008
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Title Previous Preterm Cesarean Delivery and Risk of Subsequent Uterine Rupture.
    Date April 2008
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine if women with a history of a previous preterm cesarean delivery experienced an increased risk of subsequent uterine rupture compared with women who had a previous nonclassic term cesarean delivery. METHODS: A prospective observational study was performed in singleton gestations that had a previous nonclassic cesarean delivery from 1999 to 2002. Women with a history of a previous preterm cesarean delivery were compared with women who had a previous term cesarean delivery. Women who had both a preterm and term cesarean delivery were included in the preterm group. RESULTS: A prior preterm cesarean delivery was significantly associated with an increased risk of subsequent uterine rupture (0.58% compared with 0.28%, P<.001). When women who had a subsequent elective cesarean delivery were removed (remaining n=26,454) women with a previous preterm cesarean delivery were still significantly more likely to sustain a uterine rupture (0.79% compared with 0.46%, P=.001). However, when only women who had a subsequent trial of labor were included, there was still an absolute increased risk of uterine rupture, but it was not statistically significant (1.00% compared with 0.68%, P=.081). In a multivariable analysis controlling for confounding variables (oxytocin use, two or more previous cesarean deliveries, a cesarean delivery within the past 2 years, and preterm delivery in the current pregnancy), patients with a previous preterm cesarean delivery remained at an increased risk of subsequent uterine rupture (P=.043, odds ratio 1.6, 95% confidence interval 1.01-2.50) compared with women with previous term cesarean delivery. CONCLUSION: Women who have had a previous preterm cesarean delivery are at a minimally increased risk for uterine rupture in a subsequent pregnancy when compared with women who have had previous term cesarean deliveries.

    Title Diet-treated Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: Comparison of Early Vs Routine Diagnosis.
    Date April 2008
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare pregnancy outcomes in women with diet-treated gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) that was diagnosed at < 24 weeks of gestation to those women who received the diagnosis at > or = 24 weeks of gestation. STUDY DESIGN: This was a retrospective cohort study of 2596 women with diet-treated GDM who delivered between December 1999 and June 2005 at Parkland Hospital. Women with risk factors for GDM underwent immediate glucose screening; women without risk factors underwent universal glucose screening between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation. Women with diet-treated GDM that was diagnosed at < 24 weeks of gestation (n = 339; 13.1%) were compared with those women who received the diagnosis at > or = 24 weeks of gestation. RESULTS: Women with an earlier diagnosis of diet-treated GDM were at increased risk of preeclampsia and the delivery of large infants. Even after adjustment for differences in maternal characteristics and glycemic control, the risk of preeclampsia persisted (odds ratio, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.5, 3.8). CONCLUSION: Women with an early diagnosis of diet-treated GDM have a 2-fold increased risk of preeclampsia.

    Title Predicting Macrosomia.
    Date March 2008
    Journal Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine : Official Journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prediction of fetal macrosomia based on ultrasound estimates of fetal weight and amniotic fluid volume combined with clinical risk factors. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of women undergoing indicated obstetric ultrasound examinations within 7 days of delivery was conducted. RESULTS: A total of 3115 women gave birth within 7 days of ultrasound examinations that included an estimated fetal weight (EFW) and an amniotic fluid index (AFI). Clinical risk factors were associated with an 8% positive predictive value for a birth weight of 4000 g or higher. Adding an ultrasound EFW of 4000 g or higher increased the positive predictive value to 62%. Adding an AFI of 20 cm or higher to the clinical risk factors and the ultrasound EFW further increased the positive predictive value to 71%. CONCLUSIONS: An ultrasound EFW of 4000 g or higher within 1 week of delivery combined with clinical risk factors and an increased AFI is associated with macrosomia at birth in 71% of cases.

    Title Labor Outcomes with Increasing Number of Prior Vaginal Births After Cesarean Delivery.
    Date March 2008
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To estimate the success rates and risks of an attempted vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC) according to the number of prior successful VBACs. METHODS: From a prospective multicenter registry collected at 19 clinical centers from 1999 to 2002, we selected women with one or more prior low transverse cesarean deliveries who attempted a VBAC in the current pregnancy. Outcomes were compared according to the number of prior VBAC attempts subsequent to the last cesarean delivery. RESULTS: Among 13,532 women meeting eligibility criteria, VBAC success increased with increasing number of prior VBACs: 63.3%, 87.6%, 90.9%, 90.6%, and 91.6% for those with 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 or more prior VBACs, respectively (P<.001). The rate of uterine rupture decreased after the first successful VBAC and did not increase thereafter: 0.87%, 0.45%, 0.38%, 0.54%, 0.52% (P=.03). The risk of uterine dehiscence and other peripartum complications also declined statistically after the first successful VBAC. No increase in neonatal morbidities was seen with increasing VBAC number thereafter. CONCLUSION: Women with prior successful VBAC attempts are at low risk for maternal and neonatal complications during subsequent VBAC attempts. An increasing number of prior VBACs is associated with a greater probability of VBAC success, as well as a lower risk of uterine rupture and perinatal complications in the current pregnancy. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

    Title Neonatal Mortality and Morbidity Rates in Late Preterm Births Compared with Births at Term.
    Date February 2008
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To analyze neonatal mortality and morbidity rates at 34, 35, and 36 weeks of gestation compared with births at term over the past 18 years at our hospital and to estimate the magnitude of increased risk associated with late preterm births compared with births later in gestation. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of births at our hospital over the past 18 years. The study included all liveborn singleton infants between 34 and 40 weeks of gestation and without anomalies that were delivered to women who received prenatal care in our hospital system. Neonatal outcomes for late preterm births were compared with those for infants delivered at 39 weeks. RESULTS: Late preterm singleton live births constituted approximately 9% of all deliveries at our hospital and accounted for 76% of all preterm births. Late preterm neonatal mortality rates per 1,000 live births were 1.1, 1.5, and 0.5 at 34, 35, and 36 weeks, respectively, compared with 0.2 at 39 weeks (P<.001). Neonatal morbidity was significantly increased at 34, 35, and 36 weeks, including ventilator-treated respiratory distress, transient tachypnea, grades 1 or 2 intraventricular hemorrhage, sepsis work-ups, culture-proven sepsis, phototherapy for hyperbilirubinemia, and intubation in the delivery room. Approximately 80% of late preterm births were attributed to idiopathic preterm labor or ruptured membranes and 20% to obstetric complications. CONCLUSION: Late preterm births are common and associated with significantly increased neonatal mortality and morbidity compared with births at 39 weeks. Preterm labor was the most common cause (45%) for late preterm births. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

    Title Pregnancy Outcomes for Women with Placenta Previa in Relation to the Number of Prior Cesarean Deliveries.
    Date January 2008
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To estimate the association between the number of prior cesarean deliveries and pregnancy outcomes among women with placenta previa. METHODS: Women with a placenta previa and a singleton gestation were identified in a concurrently collected database of cesarean deliveries performed at 19 academic centers during a 4-year period. Maternal and perinatal outcomes were analyzed after stratifying by the number of cesarean deliveries before the index pregnancy. RESULTS: Of the 868 women in the analysis, 488 had no prior cesarean delivery, 252 had one prior cesarean delivery, 76 had two prior cesarean deliveries, and 52 had at least three prior cesarean deliveries. Multiple measures of maternal morbidity (eg, coagulopathy, hysterectomy, pulmonary edema) increased in frequency as the number of prior cesarean deliveries rose. Even one prior cesarean delivery was sufficient to increase the risk of an adverse maternal outcome (a composite of transfusion, hysterectomy, operative injury, coagulopathy, venous thromboembolism, pulmonary edema, or death) from 15% to 23%, which corresponded, in multivariable analysis, to an adjusted odds ratio of 1.9 (95% confidence interval 1.2-2.9). Conversely, gestational age at delivery and adverse perinatal outcome (a composite measure of respiratory distress syndrome, necrotizing enterocolitis, intraventricular hemorrhage grade 3 or 4, seizures, or death) were unrelated to the number of prior cesarean deliveries. CONCLUSION: Among women with a placenta previa, an increasing number of prior cesarean deliveries is associated with increasing maternal, but not perinatal, morbidity. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

    Title Risk of Uterine Rupture and Adverse Perinatal Outcome at Term After Cesarean Delivery.
    Date December 2007
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Current information on the risk of uterine rupture after cesarean delivery has generally compared the risk after trial of labor to that occurring with an elective cesarean delivery without labor. Because antepartum counseling cannot account for whether a woman will develop an indication requiring a repeat cesarean delivery or whether labor will occur before scheduled cesarean delivery, the purpose of this analysis was to provide clinically useful information regarding the risks of uterine rupture and adverse perinatal outcome for women at term with a history of prior cesarean delivery. METHODS: Women with a term singleton gestation and prior cesarean delivery were studied over 4 years at 19 centers. For this analysis, outcomes from five groups were studied: trial of labor, elective repeat with no labor, elective repeat with labor (women presenting in early labor who subsequently underwent cesarean delivery), indicated repeat with labor, and indicated repeat without labor. All cases of uterine rupture were reviewed centrally to assure accuracy of diagnosis. RESULTS: A total of 39,117 women were studied. In term pregnant women with a prior cesarean delivery, the overall risk for uterine rupture was 0.32% (125 of 39,117), and the overall risk for serious adverse perinatal outcome (stillbirth, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, neonatal death) was 106 of 39,049 (0.27%). The uterine rupture risk for indicated repeat cesarean delivery (labor or without labor) was 7 of 6,080 (0.12%); the risk for elective (no indication) repeat cesarean delivery (labor or without labor) was 4 of 17,714 (0.02%). Indicated repeat cesarean delivery increased the risk of uterine rupture by a factor of 5 (odds ratio 5.1, 95% confidence interval 1.49-17.44). In the absence of an indication, the presence of labor also increased the risk of uterine rupture (4 of 2,721 [0.15%] compared with 0 of 14,993, P<.01). The highest rate of uterine rupture occurred in women undergoing trial of labor (0.74%, 114 of 15,323). CONCLUSION: At term, the risk of uterine rupture and adverse perinatal outcome for women with a singleton and prior cesarean delivery is low regardless of mode of delivery, occurring in 3 per 1,000 women. Maternal complications occurred in 3-8% of women within the five delivery groups.

    Title Trial of Labor After One Previous Cesarean Delivery for Multifetal Gestation.
    Date December 2007
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To estimate success rates and risks with a trial of labor after one previous cesarean delivery for multifetal gestation compared with one previous cesarean delivery for a singleton pregnancy. METHODS: Patients from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network Cesarean Registry with one previous cesarean delivery and a current term singleton pregnancy were identified. Cases had one previous cesarean delivery for a multifetal pregnancy. Controls had one previous cesarean delivery for a singleton pregnancy. RESULTS: Of cases, 556 of 944 (58.9%) attempted a trial of labor. Of controls, 13,923 of 29,329 (47.5%) attempted a trial of labor. The trial of labor success rate was 85.6% among cases and 73.1% among controls (odds ratio 2.19, 95% confidence interval 1.72-2.78). Compared with trial of labor controls, cases had no statistically increased risk of transfusion, endometritis, intensive care unit admissions, uterine rupture, or perinatal complications. Cases in this analysis with a successful trial of labor were more likely to have previously had a successful vaginal birth after cesarean (37.1% compared with 14.1%, P<.001). CONCLUSION: Women with one previous cesarean delivery for a multifetal gestation have high trial of labor success rates and low complication rates.

    Title The Relationship Between Resolution of Asymptomatic Bacterial Vaginosis and Spontaneous Preterm Birth in Fetal Fibronectin-positive Women.
    Date December 2007
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of persistent bacterial vaginosis (BV) on the occurrence of spontaneous preterm birth (SPB) in women who test positive for fetal fibronectin. STUDY DESIGN: This is a secondary analysis of a subset of pregnant women who tested positive for BV and fetal fibronectin between 16(0/7) and 25(6/7) weeks of gestation and who participated in randomized placebo controlled trials of antibiotic therapy. Nugent's criteria were used for the diagnosis of BV. Patients were reassessed for the presence of BV after treatment. The rate of SPB at <34 weeks of gestation was analyzed on the basis of treatment mode and BV status at the follow-up visit. RESULTS: The primary studies included a total of 3285 women. A subset of 215 women met the criteria for this analysis. Seventy-seven of 100 patients (77%) in the antibiotics group vs 33 of the 115 patients (28.7%) in the placebo group became BV negative (P < .0001). The rate of SPB at <34 weeks of gestation was lower for BV resolution compared with persistent BV (0 vs 5.7%, respectively; P = .01). CONCLUSION: In women who tested positive for fetal fibronectin and BV, resolution of BV is associated with less SPB before 34 weeks of gestation.

    Title Uterine Contractions Preceding Labor.
    Date October 2007
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether 12 contractions in 1 hour is a meaningful signal that spontaneous labor has begun or is imminent. METHODS: This prospective observational cohort study includes all women reporting contractions who presented to a labor and delivery triage unit between August 1 and October 31, 2006, who met the following criteria: 1) 36 0/7 to 41 6/7 weeks of gestation, 2) cervical dilation less than 4 cm, 3) intact membranes, and 4) no other medical or obstetric complications that might influence admission. Each woman received external fetal monitoring for a minimum of 1 hour. Women were discharged home if cervical dilation did not advance and the fetal heart rate pattern was reassuring. Women who progressed to a cervical dilation of 4 cm were admitted with the diagnosis of labor. RESULTS: Among 768 women studied, labor was diagnosed within 24 hours in 268 (76%) with 12 or more contractions per hour compared with 216 (52%) of 416 women with fewer than 12 contractions per hour, P<.001. Cervical condition and fetal station were more advanced on presentation in women with 12 or more contractions per hour. CONCLUSION: Twelve contractions or more per hour at term is a meaningful signal that true labor has either begun or is imminent. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

    Title Long-term Outcomes After Repeat Doses of Antenatal Corticosteroids.
    Date September 2007
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Previous trials have shown that repeat courses of antenatal corticosteroids improve some neonatal outcomes in preterm infants but reduce birth weight and increase the risk of intrauterine growth restriction. We report long-term follow-up results of children enrolled in a randomized trial comparing single and repeat courses of antenatal corticosteroids. METHODS: Women at 23 through 31 weeks of gestation who remained pregnant 7 days after an initial course of corticosteroids were randomly assigned to weekly courses of betamethasone, consisting of 12 mg given intramuscularly and repeated once at 24 hours, or an identical-appearing placebo. We studied the children who were born after these treatments when they were between 2 and 3 years of corrected age. Prespecified outcomes included scores on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, anthropometric measurements, and the presence of cerebral palsy. RESULTS: A total of 556 infants were available for follow-up; 486 children (87.4%) underwent physical examination and 465 (83.6%) underwent Bayley testing at a mean (+/-SD) corrected age of 29.3+/-4.6 months. There were no significant differences in Bayley results or anthropometric measurements. Six children (2.9% of pregnancies) in the repeat-corticosteroid group had cerebral palsy as compared with one child (0.5% of pregnancies) in the placebo group (relative risk, 5.7; 95% confidence interval, 0.7 to 46.7; P=0.12). CONCLUSIONS: Children who had been exposed to repeat as compared with single courses of antenatal corticosteroids did not differ significantly in physical or neurocognitive measures. Although the difference was not statistically significant, the higher rate of cerebral palsy among children who had been exposed to repeat doses of corticosteroids is of concern and warrants further study. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00015002 [ClinicalTrials.gov].).

    Title The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal-fetal Medicine Units Network Beneficial Effects of Antenatal Repeated Steroids Study: Impact of Repeated Doses of Antenatal Corticosteroids on Placental Growth and Histologic Findings.
    Date September 2007
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: In utero exposure to repeated doses of antenatal corticosteroids (ACSs) has been shown to reduce fetal growth. Our goal was to evaluate whether weekly betamethasone (R-ACS) alters placental growth and histologic findings. STUDY DESIGN: In a multicenter randomized controlled trial of R-ACS vs a single course of ACS followed by weekly placebo (S-ACS), placentas were weighed after removal of the membranes and umbilical cord. A single pathologist who was masked to study group and pregnancy outcomes performed histologic evaluation for placental calcifications, infarction, fibrin deposition, and hemorrhage or thrombus formation, acute and chronic chorioamnionitis, fibromuscular vascular hyperplasia, nucleated red blood cells, and villous crowding, edema, fibrosis, or fibrinoid necrosis. Findings were compared between study groups and according to the number of courses of ACS. RESULTS: One hundred ninety-four placentas were available for evaluation. Univariable analyses revealed no differences between study groups in any of the 19 evaluated histologic parameters between R-ACS and S-ACS groups overall or in analyses that were restricted to deliveries at < 32 or > or = 32 weeks of gestation. Calcifications were more common (P = .045) in the R-ACS group after controlling for other factors. Multivariable analysis revealed increasing gestational age at delivery, but not increasing ACS courses, to be associated with decreasing chorionic inflammation, villous edema, and fibrosis and with increasing villus crowding, fibrin deposition, and calcifications. Ninety-three placentas were weighed before formalin fixation. After controlling for delivery gestation and infant gender, placental weight was significantly lower in the R-ACS group (P = .017) and was related inversely to the number of ACS courses (P = .037). This finding was confirmed only for deliveries at > or = 32 weeks of gestation (525 vs 441 g for R-ACS and S-ACS group, respectively; P = .036). CONCLUSION: Repeated antenatal corticosteroid treatments in pregnancy are associated with decreased placental growth in a dose-dependent fashion, but not with evident differences in histologic markers of placental inflammation, ischemia, or infarction. Histologic placental abnormalities should not be attributed to repeated courses of corticosteroids.

    Title Perioperative Morbidity and Mortality Among Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infected Women Undergoing Cesarean Delivery.
    Date August 2007
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine whether human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women have a higher rate of postcesarean morbidity and mortality compared with women without HIV infection. METHODS: A secondary analysis was performed of women with singleton gestations undergoing cesarean delivery with known HIV status. Data were collected as part of a prospective 4-year (1999-2002) observational study and analyzed using logistic regression. Women were surveyed for a large number of intraoperative complications, common perioperative morbidities, and uncommon maternal complications. RESULTS: There were 378 HIV-infected and 54,281 uninfected women who met criteria. Patients infected with HIV were more likely to have postpartum endometritis (11.6% compared with 5.8%, P<.001), require a postpartum blood transfusion (4.0% compared with 2.0%, P=.02), develop maternal sepsis (1.1% compared with 0.2%, P<.001), be treated for pneumonia (1.3% compared with 0.3%, P=.001), and to have a maternal death (0.8% compared with 0.1%, P<.001). After controlling for potential confounders, patients with HIV infection were more likely to have one or more postpartum morbidities (odds ratio 1.6, 95% confidence interval 1.2-2.2). CONCLUSION: Women with HIV infection undergoing cesarean delivery are at increased risk for perioperative morbidity and maternal mortality. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

    Title Perinatal Significance of Isolated Maternal Hypothyroxinemia Identified in the First Half of Pregnancy.
    Date June 2007
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To establish pregnancy-specific free thyroxine thresholds and to assess perinatal effects associated with isolated maternal hypothyroxinemia identified in the first half of pregnancy. METHODS: Stored serum samples from 17,298 women who previously underwent thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) screening in the first half of pregnancy were analyzed for free thyroxine (T(4)) concentrations and thyroid peroxidase antibodies. Women with a free T(4) below 0.86 ng/dL but a normal-range TSH were identified to have isolated maternal hypothyroxinemia. Pregnancy outcomes in these women were compared to those with a normal TSH and free T(4). Thyroid peroxidase antibody status and the relationship between TSH and free T(4) were analyzed for these women and women with subclinical hypothyroidism. RESULTS: Isolated maternal hypothyroxinemia was identified in 233 women (1.3%). There were not any excessive adverse pregnancy outcomes in these women. Positive thyroid peroxidase antibody assays (greater than 50 international units/mL) were similar in normal women (4%) and those with isolated hypothyroxinemia (5%) but were greater in women with subclinical hypothyroidism (31%, P<.001). There was a negative correlation between TSH and free T(4) in normal women (r(s)=-0.19, P<.001) and those with subclinical hypothyroidism (r(s)=-0.11, P=.007). The correlation in women with isolated hypothyroxinemia was not significant. CONCLUSION: Isolated maternal hypothyroxinemia has no adverse effects on perinatal outcome. Moreover, unlike subclinical hypothyroidism, there was a low prevalence of thyroid peroxidase antibodies and no correlation between TSH and free T(4) levels in women with hypothyroxinemia, leading us to question its biological significance.

    Title Development of a Nomogram for Prediction of Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery.
    Date April 2007
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To develop a model based on factors available at the first prenatal visit that predicts chance of successful vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC) for individual patients who undergo a trial of labor. METHODS: All women with one prior low transverse cesarean who underwent a trial of labor at term with a vertex singleton gestation were identified from a concurrently collected database of deliveries at 19 academic centers during a 4-year period. Using factors identifiable at the first prenatal visit, we analyzed different classification techniques in an effort to develop a meaningful prediction model for VBAC success. After development and cross-validation, this model was represented by a graphic nomogram. RESULTS: Seven-thousand six hundred sixty women were available for analysis. The prediction model is based on a multivariable logistic regression, including the variables of maternal age, body mass index, ethnicity, prior vaginal delivery, the occurrence of a VBAC, and a potentially recurrent indication for the cesarean delivery. After analyzing the model with cross-validation techniques, it was found to be both accurate and discriminating. CONCLUSION: A predictive nomogram, which incorporates six variables easily ascertainable at the first prenatal visit, has been developed that allows the determination of a patient-specific chance for successful VBAC for those women who undertake trial of labor. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

    Title Comparison of Maternal and Infant Outcomes from Primary Cesarean Delivery During the Second Compared with First Stage of Labor.
    Date April 2007
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To compare maternal and neonatal outcomes when primary cesarean delivery is performed in the second stage of labor compared with the first stage. METHODS: Between January 1, 1999, and December 31, 2000, a prospective observational study of primary cesarean deliveries was conducted at 13 university centers comprising the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network. The primary outcomes of interest included a maternal composite (composed of at least one of the following: endometritis, intraoperative surgical complication, blood transfusion, or wound complication) and neonatal composite (which included at least one of the following: Apgar score of 3 or less at 5 minutes, neonatal death, neonatal intensive care unit admission, seizure, delivery room intubation in the absence of meconium, or fetal injury). RESULTS: A total of 11,981 cesarean deliveries were available for analysis: 9,265 were performed in the first stage and 2,716 in the second stage. Cesarean deliveries performed in the second stage were associated with longer operative times, epidural analgesia, chorioamnionitis, and higher birth weight (all P<.001). The maternal composite index was slightly increased in women undergoing cesarean delivery in the second stage of labor, primarily due to uterine atony, uterine incision extension, and incidental cystotomy. This difference was significant after multivariable analysis (odds ratio 1.21, 95% confidence interval 1.07-1.37). After multivariable analysis, the neonatal composite did not differ significantly between groups (odds ratio 0.96, 95% confidence interval 0.84-1.08). CONCLUSION: Cesarean delivery in the second stage of labor is associated with slightly increased maternal but not neonatal composite morbidity. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

    Title Outcomes of Induction of Labor After One Prior Cesarean.
    Date February 2007
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To compare pregnancy outcomes in women with one prior low-transverse cesarean delivery after induction of labor with pregnancy outcomes after spontaneous labor. METHODS: This study is an analysis of women with one prior low-transverse cesarean and a singleton gestation who underwent a trial of labor and who were enrolled in a 4-year prospective observational study. Pregnancy outcomes were evaluated according to whether a woman underwent spontaneous labor or labor induction. RESULTS: Among the 11,778 women studied, vaginal delivery was less likely after induction of labor both in women without and with a prior vaginal delivery (51% versus 65%, P<.001; and 83% versus 88%, P<.001). An increased risk of uterine rupture after labor induction was found only in women with no prior vaginal delivery (1.5% versus 0.8%, P=.02; and 0.6% versus 0.4%, P=.42). Blood transfusion, venous thromboembolism, and hysterectomy were also more common with induction among women without a prior vaginal delivery. No measure of perinatal morbidity was associated with labor induction. An unfavorable cervix at labor induction was not associated with any adverse outcomes except an increased risk of cesarean delivery. CONCLUSION: Induction of labor in the study population is associated with an increased risk of cesarean delivery in all women with an unfavorable cervix, a statistically significant, albeit clinically small, increase in maternal morbidity in women with no prior vaginal delivery, and no appreciable increase in perinatal morbidity. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

    Title Thyroid Disease in Pregnancy.
    Date December 2006
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Thyroid testing during pregnancy should be performed on symptomatic women or those with a personal history of thyroid disease. Overt hypothyroidism complicates up to 3 of 1,000 pregnancies and is characterized by nonspecific signs or symptoms that are easily confused with complaints common to pregnancy itself. Physiologic changes in serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (T(4)) related to pregnancy also confound the diagnosis of hypothyroidism during pregnancy. If the TSH is abnormal, then evaluation of free T(4) is recommended. The diagnosis of overt hypothyroidism is established by an elevated TSH and a low free T(4). The goal of treatment with levothyroxine is to return TSH to the normal range. Overt hyperthyroidism complicates approximately 2 of 1,000 pregnancies. Clinical features of hyperthyroidism can also be confused with those typical of pregnancy. Clinical hyperthyroidism is confirmed by a low TSH and elevation in free T(4) concentration. The goal of treatment with thioamide drugs is to maintain free T(4) in the upper normal range using the lowest possible dosage. Postpartum thyroiditis requiring thyroxine replacement has been reported in 2% to 5% of women. Most women will return to the euthyroid state within 12 months.

    Title Selective Magnesium Sulfate Prophylaxis for the Prevention of Eclampsia in Women with Gestational Hypertension.
    Date October 2006
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To describe the incidence of eclampsia in women with mild gestational hypertension when only women with severe gestational hypertension are given magnesium sulfate prophylaxis. METHODS: This is a prospective 4(1/2)-year observational study. Those women who met our criteria for severe gestational hypertension received intravenous magnesium sulfate prophylaxis, and women with nonsevere hypertension did not. Data were collected at delivery to ascertain the incidence of eclampsia and maternal and neonatal morbidity. RESULTS: A total of 72,004 women were delivered during the study period, 6,431 had gestational hypertension, 3,935 met the criteria for severe disease and were given magnesium sulfate prophylaxis, 2,496 women with nonsevere hypertension were not treated. Eighty-seven women developed eclampsia, for an overall incidence of 1 in 828 deliveries, a 50% increase when compared with 5 preceding years where all women with gestational hypertension were given magnesium sulfate prophylaxis. Of the 2,496 women with nonsevere hypertension who were not treated, 27 had eclampsia (1 in 92). Women with eclampsia were more likely to require general anesthesia for cesarean delivery compared with hypertensive women without eclampsia (23% versus 4%, P < .001), but they had no additional morbidity. Infants of eclamptic mothers had more adverse outcomes than those without convulsions (12% versus 1%, P < .04). CONCLUSION: Selective magnesium sulfate prophylaxis results in an increased overall incidence of eclampsia because of more seizures in women with nonsevere gestational hypertension who are not given magnesium sulfate prophylaxis. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-3.

    Title Fetal Injury Associated with Cesarean Delivery.
    Date October 2006
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To describe the incidence and type of fetal injury identified in women undergoing cesarean delivery. METHODS: Between January 1, 1999, and December 31, 2000, a prospective cohort study of all cesarean deliveries was conducted at 13 university centers. Information regarding maternal and infant outcomes was abstracted directly from hospital charts. RESULTS: A total of 37,110 cesarean deliveries were included in the registry, and 418 (1.1%) had an identified fetal injury. The most common injury was skin laceration (n = 272, 0.7%). Other injuries included cephalohematoma (n = 88), clavicular fracture (n = 11), brachial plexus (n = 9), skull fracture (n = 6), and facial nerve palsy (n = 11). Among primary cesarean deliveries, deliveries with a failed forceps or vacuum attempt had the highest rate of injuries (6.9%). In women with a prior cesarean delivery, the highest rate of injury also occurred in the unsuccessful trial of forceps or vacuum (1.7%), and the lowest rate occurred in the elective repeat cesarean group (0.5%). The type of uterine incision was associated with fetal injury, 3.4% "T" or "J" incision, 1.4% for vertical incision, and 1.1% for a low transverse (P = .003), as was a skin incision-to-delivery time of 3 minutes or less. Fetal injury did not vary in frequency with the type of skin incision, preterm delivery, maternal body mass index, or infant birth weight greater than 4,000 g. CONCLUSION: Fetal injuries complicate 1.1% of cesarean deliveries. The frequency of fetal injury at cesarean delivery varies with the indication for surgery as well as with the duration of the skin incision-to-delivery interval and the type of uterine incision. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-3.

    Title Blood Transfusion and Cesarean Delivery.
    Date October 2006
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate risks for intraoperative or postoperative packed red blood cell transfusion in women who underwent cesarean delivery. METHODS: This was a 19-university prospective observational study. All primary cesarean deliveries from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2000, and all repeat cesareans from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2002, were included. Trained, certified research nurses performed systematic data abstraction. Primary and repeat cesarean deliveries were analyzed separately. Univariable analyses were used to inform multivariable analyses. RESULTS: A total of 23,486 women underwent primary cesarean delivery, of whom 762 (3.2%) were transfused (median 2 units, 25th% to 75th% 2-3 units). A total of 33,683 women underwent repeat [corrected] cesarean delivery, and 735 (2.2%) were transfused (median 2 units, 25th% to 75th% 2-4 units). Among primary cesareans, general anesthesia (odds ratio [OR] 4.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.5-5.0), placenta previa (OR 4.8, CI 3.5-6.5) and severe (hematocrit less than 25%) preoperative anemia (OR 17.0, CI 12.4-23.3) increased the odds of transfusion. Among repeat cesareans, the risk was increased by general anesthesia (OR 7.2, CI 5.9-8.7), a history of five or more prior cesareans (OR 7.6, CI 4.0-14.3), placenta previa (OR 15.9, CI 12.0-21.0), and severe preoperative anemia (OR 19.9, CI 14.5-27.2). CONCLUSION: Overall, the risk of transfusion in association with cesarean is low. However, both severe preoperative maternal anemia and placenta previa are associated with markedly increased risks. The former argues for optimizing maternal antenatal iron status to avoid severe anemia and the latter for careful perioperative planning when previa complicates cesarean. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-2.

    Title The Maternal-fetal Medicine Units Cesarean Registry: Safety and Efficacy of a Trial of Labor in Preterm Pregnancy After a Prior Cesarean Delivery.
    Date October 2006
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to compare success rates of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) delivery, and uterine rupture as well as maternal/perinatal outcomes between women with preterm and term pregnancies undergoing trial of labor (TOL), and to compare maternal and neonatal morbidities in those women with preterm pregnancies undergoing a TOL versus repeat cesarean delivery without labor (RCD). STUDY DESIGN: Prospective 4-year observational study of women with a singleton gestation and a prior cesarean delivery at 19 academic centers. Clinical characteristics, maternal complications and VBAC delivery success for those with a preterm (24(0)-36(6) weeks) TOL, preterm RCD and term TOL (> or = 37 weeks) were analyzed. RESULTS: Among 3119 preterm pregnancies with prior cesarean delivery, 2338 (75%) underwent a TOL. 15,331 women undergoing TOL at term were also analyzed as a control group. TOL success rates for preterm and term pregnancies were similar (72.8% vs 73.3%, P = .64). Rates of uterine rupture (0.34% vs 0.74%, P = .03) and dehiscence (0.26% vs 0.67%, P = .02) were lower in preterm compared with term TOL. Thromboembolic disease, coagulopathy and transfusion were more common in women undergoing a preterm TOL than those at term. Among women undergoing a preterm TOL, rates of uterine dehiscence, coagulopathy, transfusion, and endometritis were similar to those having a preterm RCD. After controlling for gestational age at delivery and race, neonatal outcomes such as Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admission, intraventricular hemorrhage, sepsis, and ventilatory support were similar in both groups except for a higher rate of respiratory distress syndrome in those delivered after a TOL. CONCLUSION: The likelihood of VBAC success after TOL in preterm pregnancies is comparable to term gestations, with a lower risk of uterine rupture. Perinatal outcomes are similar with preterm TOL and RCD. TOL should be considered as an option for women undergoing preterm delivery with a history of prior cesarean delivery.

    Title The Mfmu Cesarean Registry: Impact of Fetal Size on Trial of Labor Success for Patients with Previous Cesarean for Dystocia.
    Date October 2006
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of change in infant birth weight between pregnancies on the outcome of a trial of labor for women whose first cesarean delivery was performed for dystocia. STUDY DESIGN: Secondary analysis of 7081 patients with 1 previous cesarean delivery and no other deliveries after 20 weeks' gestation, undergoing a trial of labor with a singleton gestation. Cases were classified as dystocia if the listed indication for the cesarean delivery in the first pregnancy was failed induction, cephalo-pelvic disproportion, failure to progress, or failed forceps or vacuum. Outcomes of the trial of labor were correlated with fetal size relative to birth weight in the initial pregnancy for those women whose initial cesarean delivery was for dystocia and those with other indications. RESULTS: For the cohort being studied (n = 7081), dystocia was the indication for the first cesarean delivery for 3182 (44.9%). Trial of labor resulted in vaginal delivery for 54% of patients whose first cesarean delivery was performed for dystocia, compared with 67% for those with other indications (P < .01). For those whose first cesarean delivery was for dystocia, trial of labor success was correlated with birth weight differences between the pregnancies, with only 38% delivering vaginally if the trial of labor birth weight exceeded the initial pregnancy birth weight by more than 500 g. Using logistic regression and adjusting for other potential confounding factors, the odds of success decreased by 3.8% for each increase of 100 g in birth weight in the trial of labor relative to the first birth weight. CONCLUSION: For women with previous cesarean delivery for dystocia, increasing birth weight in the subsequent trial of labor relative to the first birth weight diminishes the chances of successful vaginal delivery.

    Title Single Versus Weekly Courses of Antenatal Corticosteroids: Evaluation of Safety and Efficacy.
    Date October 2006
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine if weekly corticosteroids improve neonatal outcome without undue harm. STUDY DESIGN: Women 23 to 32 weeks receiving 1 course of corticosteroids 7 to 10 days prior were randomized to weekly betamethasone or placebo. RESULTS: The study was terminated by the independent data and safety monitoring committee with 495 of the anticipated 2400 patients enrolled. There was no significant reduction in the composite primary morbidity outcome (8.0% vs 9.1%, P = .67). Repeated courses significantly reduced neonatal surfactant administration (P = .02), mechanical ventilation (P = .004), CPAP (P = .05), pneumothoraces (P = .03). There was no significant difference in mean birth weight or head circumference. The repeat group had a reduction in multiples of the birth weight median by gestational age (0.88 vs 0.91) (P = .01) and more neonates weighing less than the 10th percentile (23.7 vs 15.3%, P = .02). Significant weight reductions occurred for the group receiving > or = 4 courses. CONCLUSION: Repeat antenatal corticosteroids significantly reduce specific neonatal morbidities but do not improve composite neonatal outcome. This is accompanied by reduction in birth weight and increase in small for gestational age infants.

    Title Optimizing Care and Outcome for Late-preterm (near-term) Infants: a Summary of the Workshop Sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
    Date September 2006
    Journal Pediatrics
    Excerpt

    In 2003, 12.3% of births in the United States were preterm (< 37 completed weeks of gestation). This represents a 31% increase in the preterm birth rate since 1981. The largest contribution to this increase was from births between 34 and 36 completed weeks of gestation (often called the "near term" but referred to as "late preterm" in this article). Compared with term infants, late-preterm infants have higher frequencies of respiratory distress, temperature instability, hypoglycemia, kernicterus, apnea, seizures, and feeding problems, as well as higher rates of rehospitalization. However, the magnitude of these morbidities at the national level and their public health impact have not been well studied. To address these issues, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health invited a multidisciplinary team of experts to a workshop in July 2005 entitled "Optimizing Care and Outcome of the Near-Term Pregnancy and the Near-Term Newborn Infant." The participants discussed the definition and terminology, epidemiology, etiology, biology of maturation, clinical care, surveillance, and public health aspects of late-preterm infants. Knowledge gaps were identified, and research priorities were listed. This article provides a summary of the meeting.

    Title Decision-to-incision Times and Maternal and Infant Outcomes.
    Date August 2006
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To measure decision-to-incision intervals and related maternal and neonatal outcomes in a cohort of women undergoing emergency cesarean deliveries at multiple university-based hospitals comprising the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network. METHODS: All women undergoing a primary cesarean delivery at a Network center during a 2-year time span were prospectively ascertained. Emergency procedures were defined as those performed for umbilical cord prolapse, placental abruption, placenta previa with hemorrhage, nonreassuring fetal heart rate pattern, or uterine rupture. Detailed information regarding maternal and neonatal outcomes, including the interval from the decision time to perform cesarean delivery to the actual skin incision, was collected. RESULTS: Of the 11,481 primary cesarean deliveries, 2,808 were performed for an emergency indication. Of these, 1,814 (65%) began within 30 minutes of the decision to operate. Maternal complication rates, including endometritis, wound infection, and operative injury, were not related to the decision-to-incision interval. Measures of newborn compromise including umbilical artery pH less than 7 and intubation in the delivery room were significantly greater when the cesarean delivery was commenced within 30 minutes, likely attesting to the need for expedited delivery. Of the infants with indications for an emergency cesarean delivery who were delivered more than 30 minutes after the decision to operate, 95% did not experience a measure of newborn compromise. CONCLUSION: Approximately one third of primary cesarean deliveries performed for emergency indications are commenced more than 30 minutes after the decision to operate, and the majority were for nonreassuring heart rate tracings. In these cases, adverse neonatal outcomes were not increased. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-2.

    Title Association of Obesity with Pulmonary and Nonpulmonary Complications of Pregnancy in Asthmatic Women.
    Date August 2006
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether maternal obesity is associated with pulmonary and nonpulmonary pregnancy complications in asthmatic women. METHODS: This is a secondary analysis of the prospective cohort Asthma During Pregnancy Study. Asthma patients were classified as having either mild or moderate to severe disease at the beginning of the study. Rates of pulmonary complications of asthma in asthmatic women and rates of nonpulmonary complications of pregnancy among asthma patients and controls, were compared between obese (body mass index > or = 30 kg/m2) and nonobese women. RESULTS: Maternal body mass index and pregnancy outcome data were available for 1,699 of 1,812 asthmatic women and for 867 of 881 controls. Of the asthma subjects, 30.7% (521) were obese compared with 25.5% of the controls, P = .006. Obese women, regardless of whether they had asthma, were more likely to undergo cesarean delivery (OR 1.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]1.3-2.0) to develop preeclampsia or gestational hypertension (OR 1.7 95% CI 1.3-2.3) and gestational diabetes (OR 4.2, 95% CI 2.8-6.3). There were no differences in the rates of overall asthma improvement (20.6% compared with 23.6%, P = .36) or deterioration (33.3% compared with 28.8%, P = .20) between obese and nonobese asthma patients. After adjustment for confounding variables, obesity, not asthma, was associated with nonpulmonary complications of pregnancy, and obesity was associated with an increase in asthma exacerbations as well (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.7). CONCLUSION: Obesity is associated with an increased risk of asthma exacerbations during pregnancy. The increased rate of nonpulmonary complications of pregnancy in asthma patients is associated with obesity in this population and not with asthma status. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-1.

    Title Trial of Labor or Repeat Cesarean Delivery in Women with Morbid Obesity and Previous Cesarean Delivery.
    Date August 2006
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Assess effects of body mass index (BMI) on trial of labor after previous cesarean delivery and determine whether morbidly obese women have greater maternal and perinatal morbidity with trial of labor compared with elective repeat cesarean delivery. METHODS: Secondary analysis from a prospective observational study included all term singletons undergoing trial of labor after previous cesarean delivery. Body mass index groups were as follows: normal 18.5-24.9, overweight 25.0-29.9, obese 30.0-39.9, morbidly obese 40.0 kg/m2 or greater, and were compared for failure and maternal and neonatal morbidities. The morbidly obese trial of labor and elective repeat cesarean delivery were compared for maternal and neonatal morbidities. Multivariable logistic regression analysis controlled for confounding variables. RESULTS: There were 14,142 trial of labor participants and 14,304 elective repeat cesarean delivery participants. Increasing BMI was directly associated with failed trial of labor after previous cesarean delivery: from 15.2% in normal weight (1,344) to 39.3% in morbidly obese (1,638), with combined risk of rupture/dehiscence increasing from 0.9% to 2.1% in morbidly obese women. Among morbidly obese women, trial of labor carried greater than five-fold risk of uterine rupture/dehiscence (2.1% versus 0.4%), almost a two-fold increase in composite maternal morbidity (7.2% versus 3.8%) and five-fold risk of neonatal injury (1.1% versus 0.2%) (fractures, brachial plexus injuries, and lacerations), but no neonatal encephalopathy. Morbidly obese women failing a trial of labor had six-fold greater composite maternal morbidity than those undergoing a successful trial of labor (14.2% versus 2.6%). CONCLUSION: Body mass index correlates with outcomes in trial of labor after previous cesarean delivery. Morbidly obese women undergoing a trial of labor were at increased risk for failure. Increased BMI was associated with greater composite morbidity and neonatal injury compared with elective repeat cesarean delivery, but absolute morbidities were small. Increased risks should be considered before trial of labor after previous cesarean delivery. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-2.

    Title Maternal Morbidity Associated with Multiple Repeat Cesarean Deliveries.
    Date July 2006
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Although repeat cesarean deliveries often are associated with serious morbidity, they account for only a portion of abdominal deliveries and are overlooked when evaluating morbidity. Our objective was to estimate the magnitude of increased maternal morbidity associated with increasing number of cesarean deliveries. METHODS: Prospective observational cohort of 30,132 women who had cesarean delivery without labor in 19 academic centers over 4 years (1999-2002). RESULTS: There were 6,201 first (primary), 15,808 second, 6,324 third, 1,452 fourth, 258 fifth, and 89 sixth or more cesarean deliveries. The risks of placenta accreta, cystotomy, bowel injury, ureteral injury, and ileus, the need for postoperative ventilation, intensive care unit admission, hysterectomy, and blood transfusion requiring 4 or more units, and the duration of operative time and hospital stay significantly increased with increasing number of cesarean deliveries. Placenta accreta was present in 15 (0.24%), 49 (0.31%), 36 (0.57%), 31 (2.13%), 6 (2.33%), and 6 (6.74%) women undergoing their first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth or more cesarean deliveries, respectively. Hysterectomy was required in 40 (0.65%) first, 67 (0.42%) second, 57 (0.90%) third, 35 (2.41%) fourth, 9 (3.49%) fifth, and 8 (8.99%) sixth or more cesarean deliveries. In the 723 women with previa, the risk for placenta accreta was 3%, 11%, 40%, 61%, and 67% for first, second, third, fourth, and fifth or more repeat cesarean deliveries, respectively. CONCLUSION: Because serious maternal morbidity increases progressively with increasing number of cesarean deliveries, the number of intended pregnancies should be considered during counseling regarding elective repeat cesarean operation versus a trial of labor and when debating the merits of elective primary cesarean delivery. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-2.

    Title Midpregnancy Genitourinary Tract Infection with Chlamydia Trachomatis: Association with Subsequent Preterm Delivery in Women with Bacterial Vaginosis and Trichomonas Vaginalis.
    Date April 2006
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to estimate whether midpregnancy genitourinary tract infection with Chlamydia trachomatis is associated with an increased risk of subsequent preterm delivery. STUDY DESIGN: Infection with C. trachomatis was determined using a ligase chain reaction assay (performed in batch after delivery) of voided urine samples collected at the randomization visit (16(0/7) to 23(6/7) weeks' gestation) and the follow-up visit (24(0/7) to 29(6/7) weeks) among 2470 gravide women with bacterial vaginosis or Trichomonas vaginalis infection enrolled in 2 multicenter randomized antibiotic treatment trials (metronidazole versus. placebo). RESULTS: The overall prevalence of genitourinary tract C. trachomatis infection at both visits was 10%. Preterm delivery less than 37 weeks' or less than 35 weeks' gestational age was not associated with the presence or absence of C. trachomatis infection at either the randomization (less than 37 weeks: 14% versus 13%, P=.58; less than 35 weeks: 6.4% versus 5.5%, P=.55) or the follow-up visit (less than 37 weeks: 13% versus 11%, P=.33; less than 35 weeks: 4.4% versus 3.7, P=.62). Treatment with an antibiotic effective against chlamydia infection was not associated with a statistically significant difference in preterm delivery. CONCLUSION: In this secondary analysis, midtrimester chlamydia infection was not associated with an increased risk of preterm birth. Treatment of chlamydia was not associated with a decreased frequency of preterm birth.

    Title A Randomized Trial of Coached Versus Uncoached Maternal Pushing During the Second Stage of Labor.
    Date April 2006
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to compare obstetrical outcomes associated with coached versus uncoached pushing during the second stage of labor. STUDY DESIGN: Upon reaching the second stage, previously consented nulliparous women with uncomplicated labors and without epidural analgesia were randomly assigned to coached (n = 163) versus uncoached (n = 157) pushing. Women allocated to coaching received standardized closed glottis pushing instructions by certified nurse-midwives with proper ventilation encouraged between contractions. These midwives also attended those women assigned to no coaching to ensure that any expulsive efforts were involuntary. RESULTS: The second stage of labor was abbreviated by approximately 13 minutes in coached women (P = .01). There were no other clinically significant immediate maternal or neonatal outcomes between the 2 groups. CONCLUSION: Although associated with a slightly shorter second stage, coached maternal pushing confers no other advantages and withholding such coaching is not harmful.

    Title Spirometry is Related to Perinatal Outcomes in Pregnant Women with Asthma.
    Date April 2006
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that maternal asthma symptoms and pulmonary function are related to adverse perinatal outcomes. STUDY DESIGN: Asthmatic patients were recruited from the 16 centers of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Units. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second was obtained at enrollment and at monthly study visits, and the frequency of asthma symptoms was assessed from enrollment to delivery. Perinatal data were obtained at postpartum chart reviews. RESULTS: The final cohort included 2123 participants with asthma. After adjustment for demographic characteristics, smoking, acute asthmatic episodes, and oral corticosteroid use, significant relationships were demonstrated between gestational hypertension and preterm birth and lower maternal gestational forced expiratory volume in 1 second. The data did not show any significant independent relationship between asthma symptom frequency and perinatal outcomes. CONCLUSION: Lower pulmonary function during pregnancy is associated with increased gestational hypertension and prematurity in the pregnancies of women with asthma, which may be due to inadequate asthma control or factors that are associated with increased asthma severity.

    Title Subclinical Hyperthyroidism and Pregnancy Outcomes.
    Date April 2006
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Subclinical hyperthyroidism has long-term sequelae that include osteoporosis, cardiovascular morbidity, and progression to overt thyrotoxicosis or thyroid failure. The objective of this study was to evaluate pregnancy outcomes in women with suppressed thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and normal free thyroxine (fT(4)) levels. METHODS: All women who presented to Parkland Hospital for prenatal care between November 1, 2000, and April 14, 2003, underwent thyroid screening by chemiluminescent TSH assay. Women with TSH values at or below the 2.5th percentile for gestational age and whose serum fT(4) levels were 1.75 ng/dL or less were identified to have subclinical hyperthyroidism. Those women screened and delivered of a singleton infant weighing 500 g or more were analyzed. Pregnancy outcomes in women identified with subclinical hyperthyroidism were compared with those in women whose TSH values were between the 5th and 95th percentiles. RESULTS: A total of 25,765 women underwent thyroid screening and were delivered of singleton infants. Of these, 433 (1.7%) were considered to have subclinical hyperthyroidism, which occurred more frequently in African-American and/or parous women. Pregnancies in women with subclinical hyperthyroidism were less likely to be complicated by hypertension (adjusted odds ratio 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.44-0.98). All other pregnancy complications and perinatal morbidity or mortality were not increased in women with subclinical hyperthyroidism. CONCLUSION: Subclinical hyperthyroidism is not associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Our results indicate that identification of subclinical hyperthyroidism and treatment during pregnancy is unwarranted. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-2.

    Title Magnetic Resonance Imaging Pelvimetry and the Prediction of Labor Dystocia.
    Date February 2006
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To study whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) pelvimetry has the ability to identify those women who require cesarean delivery for labor dystocia. METHODS: From July 2003 to April 2004, nulliparous women scheduled for a labor induction for prolonged pregnancy (42 weeks) were asked to participate in a pelvimetry study. Those who consented underwent fast-acquisition MRI that included two 90-second acquisitions to evaluate fetal biometry and volumetry and maternal pelvimetry, including novel measurements of pelvic bony and soft tissue volumes as determined by MRI. Information about each patient's pregnancy, labor course, and neonatal outcome was prospectively collected. Pelvimetry results for those women undergoing operative delivery for labor dystocia were compared with those who did not. Single fetal and maternal pelvic measurements, as well as ratios of both, were analyzed. In addition, previously described radiographic pelvimetry techniques and formulas to predict dystocia were used. RESULTS: One hundred one women underwent MRI, and 22 of these underwent cesarean delivery for dystocia. No single fetal measurement was statistically associated with dystocia. Several maternal pelvic measures, fetal-to-maternal ratios, and previously reported pelvimetric techniques were significantly associated with dystocia. The ratio of magnetic resonance (MR) fetal head volume to pelvic soft tissue volume had statistical significance (P = .04). Receiver operator characteristic curves were developed for the different measurements, ratios, and formulas studied to assess whether any of the techniques could accurately predict labor dystocia requiring operative delivery. The area under the curve values ranged from 0.6 to 0.8, with the ratio of MR head volume to pelvic soft tissue being 0.7. These values suggest that MRI can identify those women at greatest risk for dystocia, but it cannot with accuracy predict which ones will require a cesarean. CONCLUSION: We found significant associations with MRI pelvimetry and labor dystocia, but MRI was not a significant improvement over previously described pelvimetric techniques. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-3.

    Title Thyroid-stimulating Hormone in Singleton and Twin Pregnancy: Importance of Gestational Age-specific Reference Ranges.
    Date November 2005
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To estimate a normal reference range for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) at each point in gestation in singleton and twin pregnancies. METHODS: All women enrolling for prenatal care from December 2000 through November 2001 underwent prospective TSH screening at their first visit. Separate nomograms were constructed for singleton and twin pregnancies using regression analysis. Values were converted to multiples of the median (MoM) for singleton pregnancies at each week of gestation. RESULTS: Thyroid-stimulating hormone was evaluated in 13,599 singleton and 132 twin pregnancies. Thyroid-stimulating hormone decreased significantly during the first trimester, and the decrease was greater in twins (both P < .001). Had a nonpregnant reference (0.4-4.0 mU/L) been used rather than our nomogram, 28% of 342 singletons with TSH greater than 2 standard deviations above the mean would not have been identified. For singleton first-trimester pregnancies, the approximate upper limit of normal TSH was 4.0 MoM, and for twins, 3.5 MoM. Thereafter, the approximate upper limit was 2.5 MoM for singleton and twin pregnancies. CONCLUSION: If thyroid testing is performed during pregnancy, nomograms that adjust for fetal number and gestational age may greatly improve disease detection. Values expressed as multiples of the median may facilitate comparisons across different laboratories and populations.

    Title Does Progesterone Treatment Influence Risk Factors for Recurrent Preterm Delivery?
    Date November 2005
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To examine how demographic and pregnancy characteristics can affect the risk of recurrent preterm delivery and the how the effectiveness of progesterone treatment for prevention alters these relationships. METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of a randomized trial of 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate to prevent recurrent preterm delivery in women at risk. Associations of risk factors for preterm delivery (less than 37 completed weeks of gestation) were examined separately for the women in the 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (n = 310) and placebo (n = 153) groups. RESULTS: Univariate analysis found that the number of previous preterm deliveries and whether the penultimate delivery was preterm were significant risk factors for preterm delivery in both the placebo and progesterone groups. High body mass index was protective of preterm birth in the placebo group. Multivariate analysis found progesterone treatment to cancel the risk of more than 1 previous preterm delivery, but not the risk associated with the penultimate pregnancy delivered preterm. Obesity was associated with lower risk for preterm delivery in the placebo group but not in the women treated with progesterone. CONCLUSION: The use of 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate in women with a previous preterm delivery reduces the overall risk of preterm delivery and changes the epidemiology of risk factors for recurrent preterm delivery. In particular, these data suggest that 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate reduces the risk of a history of more than 1 preterm delivery. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: I.

    Title Progesterone for Prevention of Recurrent Preterm Birth: Impact of Gestational Age at Previous Delivery.
    Date October 2005
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Preterm birth occurs in 1 of 8 pregnancies and may result in significant morbidity and mortality. 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-OHP caproate) has been found to be efficacious in reducing the risk of subsequent preterm delivery in women who have had a previous spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB). This analysis was undertaken to evaluate if 17-OHP caproate therapy works preferentially depending on the gestational age at previous spontaneous delivery. We hypothesized that treatment with 17-OHP caproate is more effective in prolonging pregnancy depending on the gestational age of the earliest previous preterm birth (20-27.9, 28-33.9 vs 34-36.9 weeks). STUDY DESIGN: This was a secondary analysis of 459 women with a previous sPTB enrolled in a randomized controlled trial evaluating 17-OHP caproate versus placebo. Effectiveness of 17-OHP caproate for pregnancy prolongation was evaluated based on gestational age at earliest previous delivery according to clinically relevant groupings (20-27.9, 28-33.9, and 34-36.9 weeks). Statistical analysis included the chi-square, Fisher exact, and Kruskal-Wallis tests, logistic regression, and survival analysis using proportional hazards. RESULTS: Gestational age at earliest previous delivery was similar between women treated with 17-OHP caproate or placebo (P = .1). Women with earliest delivery at 20 to 27.9 weeks and at 28 to 33.9 weeks delivered at significantly more advanced gestational age if treated with 17-OHP caproate than with placebo (median 37.3 vs 35.4 weeks, P = .046 and 38.0 vs 36.7 weeks, P = .004, respectively) and were less likely to deliver <37 weeks (42% vs 63%, P = .026 and 34% vs 56%, P = .005, respectively). Those with earliest delivery at 34 to 36.9 weeks were not significantly different between 17-OHP caproate or control. CONCLUSION: 17-OHP caproate therapy given to prevent recurrent PTB is associated with a prolongation of pregnancy overall, and especially for women with a previous spontaneous PTB at <34 weeks.

    Title Plasma Crh Measurement at 16 to 20 Weeks' Gestation Does Not Predict Preterm Delivery in Women at High-risk for Preterm Delivery.
    Date October 2005
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the utility of a single second-trimester plasma corticotropin-releasing hormone measurement as a marker for preterm delivery in women at high risk for preterm delivery. STUDY DESIGN: This is an analysis of data from a multicenter placebo-controlled trial designed to evaluate the role of 17 alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) in the prevention of recurrent preterm birth. Women with a documented history of a previous spontaneous preterm birth at <37 weeks were enrolled (16-20 wks) and randomly assigned in a 2 to 1 ratio to weekly injections of 17P or matching placebo. Blood was collected before treatment in 170 patients (113 assigned 17P and 57 placebo) who were enrolled at 11 of the 19 centers. Plasma levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone were compared between those who delivered preterm and those delivering at term. Data were analyzed using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. RESULTS: The overall rates of preterm birth in this cohort of 170 patients were 35.9% at <37 weeks (31.9% progesterone, 43.9% placebo), and 19.4% at <35 weeks (18.6% vs 21.1%). The median levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone were similar between those delivering at <37 weeks and those delivering > or = 37 weeks (0.39 ng/mL vs 0.37 ng/mL, P = .08). In addition, there were no differences in corticotropin-releasing hormone levels among those who delivered at <35 weeks or > or = 35 weeks (0.36 vs 0.38, P = .90). Moreover, there were no differences in corticotropin-releasing hormone levels among those in the placebo group who delivered at <37 or > or = 37 weeks (0.40 vs 0.41, P = .72) and at <35 or > or = 35 weeks (P = .64). CONCLUSION: A single measurement of corticotropin-releasing hormone at 16 to 20 weeks' gestation is not a good biomarker for recurrent preterm delivery in patients at high risk for this complication.

    Title Hospitalization for Women with Arrested Preterm Labor: a Randomized Trial.
    Date August 2005
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine whether hospitalization of women with arrested preterm labor has an effect on delivery at 36 weeks or greater when compared with women discharged home. METHODS: All women with a singleton gestation and a diagnosis of arrested preterm labor with intact membranes between 24 and 33 weeks, 4 days of gestation were randomly assigned to home or hospital management. Upon completion of a dexamethasone course, women assigned to outpatient management were promptly discharged, and women in the inpatient group were advised to continue hospitalization until 34 weeks. Decreased activity was encouraged in both groups. Bed rest was not strictly enforced. The primary outcome was delivery at 36 weeks or greater. RESULTS: A total of 101 women of a planned 188 were enrolled at the time of an interim analysis. There was no difference in the primary study outcome between the 2 groups and the trial was terminated. Among the hospitalized women, 71% reached 36 weeks or greater, compared with 72% of those discharged home (P = .89). The mean cervical dilatation in hospitalized women was 2.7 +/- 0.5 cm, compared with 2.6 +/- 0.5 cm in women discharged home (P = .16). The overall length of hospital stay for the women allocated to hospitalization was 16 +/- 13 days. CONCLUSION: Compared with hospitalization, outpatient management of women with arrested preterm labor and intact membranes had no effect on the rate of preterm birth. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: I.

    Title A Prospective Observational Study of Domestic Violence During Pregnancy.
    Date August 2005
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To assess whether women reporting domestic violence are at increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes. METHODS: A screening questionnaire, previously validated for the identification of female victims of domestic violence, was offered to women presenting to our Labor and Delivery Unit. The survey prompted women to indicate whether her partner or family member physically hurt her, insulted or talked down to her, threatened her with harm, or screamed or cursed at her. The primary study outcome was to detect a 3-fold increase in low birth weight infants (< or = 2,500 g) in women reporting physical abuse, compared with those not reporting domestic violence. RESULTS: A total of 16,041 women were approached to be interviewed. Of these, 949 (6%) women responded affirmatively to one or more of the survey questions, and another 94 (0.6%) declined to be interviewed. The incidence of low birth weight infants was significantly increased in women who reported verbal abuse, compared with the no-abuse group (7.6% versus 5.1%, respectively, P = .002). Physical abuse was associated with an increased risk of neonatal death (1.5% versus 0.2%, P = .004). Interestingly, women who declined to be interviewed had significantly increased rates of low birth weight infants (12.8% versus 5.1%, P < .001), preterm birth at 32 weeks of gestation or less (5.3% versus 1.2%, P = .002), placental abruptions (2.1% versus 0.2%, P < .001), and neonatal intensive care admissions (7.4% versus 2.2%, P = .008) when compared with women in the no-abuse group, respectively. CONCLUSION: Women who declined to be surveyed regarding domestic violence were at increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcome. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-2.

    Title The Maternal-fetal Medicine Unit Cesarean Registry: Trial of Labor with a Twin Gestation.
    Date August 2005
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify the success rates and risks in women with a twin pregnancy who attempt a trial of labor after cesarean delivery. STUDY DESIGN: Cases were identified in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network's Cesarean Registry with a woman with a twin pregnancy who had had at least 1 previous cesarean delivery. RESULTS: During the study period (1999-2002), 412 women fulfilled the study criteria, and 226 women had elective repeat cesarean delivery. Of the 186 women (45.1% of total) who attempted a trial of labor, 120 women were delivered successfully (success rate, 64.5%), and 66 women (35.5%) had a failed trial of labor. Thirty of the failed trials of labor involved a vaginal delivery for twin A and cesarean delivery for twin B. Women who attempted a trial of labor with twins had no increased risk of transfusion, endometritis, intensive care unit admissions, or uterine rupture when compared with elective repeat cesarean delivery. Fetal and neonatal complications were uncommon in either group at>or=34 weeks of gestation. CONCLUSION: A trial of labor with twins after previous cesarean delivery does not appear to increase maternal morbidity. Perinatal morbidity is uncommon at>or=34 weeks of gestation.

    Title Obstetric Antecedents for Postpartum Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.
    Date June 2005
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate prospectively the association between selected obstetric antecedents and symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction in primiparous women up to 7 months after childbirth. STUDY DESIGN: All nulliparous women who were delivered between June 1, 2000, and August 31, 2002, were eligible for a postpartum interview regarding symptoms of persistent pelvic floor dysfunction. Responses from all women who completed a survey at or before their 6-month contraceptive follow-up visit were analyzed. Obstetric antecedents to stress, urge, and anal incontinence were identified, and attributable risks for each factor were calculated. RESULTS: During the study period, 3887 of 10,643 primiparous women (37%) returned within 219 days of delivery. Symptoms of stress and urge urinary incontinence, were significantly reduced (P < .01) in women who underwent a cesarean delivery. Symptoms of urge urinary incontinence doubled in women who underwent a forceps delivery (P = .04). Symptoms of anal incontinence were increased in women who were delivered of an infant who weighed >4000 g (P = .006) and more than doubled in those women who received oxytocin and had an episiotomy performed (P = .01). CONCLUSION: The likelihood of symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction up to 7 months after delivery was greater in women who received oxytocin, who underwent a forceps delivery, who were delivered of an infant who weighed >4000 g, or who had an episiotomy performed. Women who underwent a cesarean delivery had fewer symptoms of urge and stress urinary incontinence.

    Title A Randomized Trial of the Effects of Coached Vs Uncoached Maternal Pushing During the Second Stage of Labor on Postpartum Pelvic Floor Structure and Function.
    Date June 2005
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine if refraining from coached pushing during the second stage of labor affects postpartum urogynecologic measures of pelvic floor structure and function. STUDY DESIGN: Nulliparous women at term were randomized to coached (n = 67) vs uncoached (n = 61) pushing. At 3 months' postpartum women underwent urodynamic testing, pelvic organ prolapse examination (POPQ), and pelvic floor neuromuscular assessment. RESULTS: Urodynamic testing revealed decreased bladder capacity (427 mL vs 482 mL, P = .051) and decreased first urge to void (160 mL vs 202 mL, P = .025) in the coached group. Detrusor overactivity increased 2-fold in the coached group (16% vs 8%), although this difference was not statistically significant (P = .17). Urodynamic stress incontinence was diagnosed in the coached group in 11/67 (16%) vs 7/61 (12%) in the uncoached group (P = .42). CONCLUSION: Coached pushing in the second stage of labor significantly affected urodynamic indices, and was associated with a trend towards increased detrusor overactivity.

    Title Subclinical Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy Outcomes.
    Date March 2005
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Clinical thyroid dysfunction has been associated with pregnancy complications such as hypertension, preterm birth, low birth weight, placental abruption, and fetal death. The relationship between subclinical hypothyroidism and pregnancy outcomes has not been well studied. We undertook this prospective thyroid screening study to evaluate pregnancy outcomes in women with elevated thyrotropin (thyroid-stimulating hormone, TSH) and normal free thyroxine levels. METHODS: All women who presented to Parkland Hospital for prenatal care between November 1, 2000, and April 14, 2003, had thyroid screening using a chemiluminescent TSH assay. Women with TSH values at or above the 97.5th percentile for gestational age at screening and with free thyroxine more than 0.680 ng/dL were retrospectively identified with subclinical hypothyroidism. Pregnancy outcomes were compared with those in pregnant women with normal TSH values between the 5th and 95th percentiles. RESULTS: A total of 25,756 women underwent thyroid screening and were delivered of a singleton infant. There were 17,298 (67%) women enrolled for prenatal care at 20 weeks of gestation or less, and 404 (2.3%) of these were considered to have subclinical hypothyroidism. Pregnancies in women with subclinical hypothyroidism were 3 times more likely to be complicated by placental abruption (relative risk 3.0, 95% confidence interval 1.1-8.2). Preterm birth, defined as delivery at or before 34 weeks of gestation, was almost 2-fold higher in women with subclinical hypothyroidism (relative risk, 1.8, 95% confidence interval 1.1-2.9). CONCLUSION: We speculate that the previously reported reduction in intelligence quotient of offspring of women with subclinical hypothyroidism may be related to the effects of prematurity. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-2.

    Title Is Bacterial Vaginosis a Stronger Risk Factor for Preterm Birth when It is Diagnosed Earlier in Gestation?
    Date March 2005
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: It is stated commonly that the earlier in pregnancy bacterial vaginosis is diagnosed, the greater is the increase in risk of preterm birth compared with women without bacterial vaginosis. However, this contention is based on small numbers of women. STUDY DESIGN: In this analysis of 12,937 women who were screened for bacterial vaginosis as part of a previously conducted clinical trial, the odds ratio of preterm birth (<7 weeks of gestation) for asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis-positive versus bacterial vaginosis-negative women was evaluated among women who were screened from 8 to 22 weeks of gestation. RESULTS: The odds ratio of preterm birth among bacterial vaginosis-positive versus bacterial vaginosis-negative women ranged from 1.1 to 1.6 and did not vary significantly according to the gestational age at which bacterial vaginosis was screened. The odds ratio for preterm birth did not vary significantly by gestational age at diagnosis when bacterial vaginosis was subdivided into Gram stain score 7 to 8 or 9 to 10. CONCLUSION: Although bacterial vaginosis was associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, the gestational age at which bacterial vaginosis was screened for and diagnosed did not influence the increase.

    Title Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes Associated with a Trial of Labor After Prior Cesarean Delivery.
    Date December 2004
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: 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. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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). CONCLUSIONS: 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.

    Title The Significance of Antiphospholipid Antibodies in Pregnant Women with Chronic Hypertension.
    Date October 2004
    Journal American Journal of Perinatology
    Excerpt

    The objective of this study was to perform antiphospholipid antibody screening in women with chronic hypertension to assess whether the presence of such antibodies is associated with adverse pregnancy outcome. Serum for anticardiolipin antibodies and lupus anticoagulant was obtained in pregnant women with chronic hypertension who had no other indications for such testing. The primary outcomes of interest were the development of superimposed preeclampsia, preterm delivery, and fetal growth restriction. Only 8 (9%) of the 87 women enrolled tested positive (> 95th percentile) for anticardiolipin immunoglobulin G. None tested positive for lupus anticoagulant. The presence of antiphospholipid antibodies was not associated with adverse pregnancy outcome. We were unable to demonstrate that screening for antiphospholipid antibodies is a useful clinical practice in women whose only pregnancy complication was chronic hypertension. The significance of such antibodies in this particular group of patients can only be resolved with a large multicenter study.

    Title The Maternal-fetal Medicine Units Cesarean Registry: Chorioamnionitis at Term and Its Duration-relationship to Outcomes.
    Date September 2004
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between chorioamnionitis and its duration to adverse maternal, fetal, and neonatal outcomes. STUDY DESIGN: This was a 13-university center, prospective observational study. All women at term carrying a singleton gestation who underwent primary cesarean from January 1, 1999 to December 31, 2000 were eligible. Data abstraction was systematic and performed by trained research nurses. Selected adverse outcomes were compared between pregnancies with, and without, clinically diagnosed chorioamnionitis using relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs. The duration of chorioamnionitis was stratified into 5 intervals (<or=3 h,>3-6 h,>6-9 h,>9-12 h, and>12 h), and respective outcomes compared by Mantel-Haenszel test for trend. Additionally, regression analysis was used to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs for chorioamnionitis duration length as a continuous explanatory variable. RESULTS: 16,650 pregnancies were analyzed, 1965 (12%) with chorioamnionitis, which was associated with significantly increased risks of maternal blood transfusion, uterine atony, septic pelvic thrombophlebitis, and pelvic abscess (RR 2.3-3.7), as well as 5-minute Apgar <or=3, neonatal sepsis, and seizures (RR 2.1-2.8). By test of trend, only uterine atony (P <.01), maternal blood transfusion (P=.03), maternal admission to intensive care unit (P=.02), and 5-minute Apgar <or=3 (P <.01) were associated with duration of chorioamnionitis. By logistic analysis, only uterine atony (OR for each hour of chorioamnionitis 1.03, 95% CI 1.00-1.06), 5-minute Apgar <or=3 (OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.00-1.16), and neonatal mechanical ventilation within 24 hours of birth (OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.01-1.12) were significantly associated with chorioamnionitis duration. CONCLUSION: Chorioamnionitis was associated with increased rates of morbidity after cesarean at term. The duration of chorioamnionitis, however, was not related to most measures of adverse maternal or fetal-neonatal outcome.

    Title The Relationship of Asthma Medication Use to Perinatal Outcomes.
    Date July 2004
    Journal The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Maternal asthma has been reported to increase the risk of preeclampsia, preterm deliveries, and lower-birth-weight infants, but the mechanisms of this effect are not defined. OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the relationship between the use of contemporary asthma medications and adverse perinatal outcomes. METHODS: Asthmatic patients were recruited from the 16 centers of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network from December 1994 through February 2000. Gestational medication use was determined on the basis of patient history at enrollment and at monthly visits during pregnancy. Perinatal data were obtained at postpartum chart reviews. Perinatal outcome variables included gestational hypertension, preterm births, low-birth-weight infants, small-for-gestational-age infants, and major malformations. RESULTS: The final cohort included 2123 asthmatic participants. No significant relationships were found between the use of inhaled beta-agonists (n=1828), inhaled corticosteroids (n=722), or theophylline (n=273) and adverse perinatal outcomes. After adjusting for demographic and asthma severity covariates, oral corticosteroid use was significantly associated with both preterm birth at less than 37 weeks' gestation (odds ratio, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.02-2.33) and low birth weight of less than 2500 g (odds ratio, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.13-2.88). CONCLUSIONS: Use of inhaled beta-agonists, inhaled steroids, and theophylline do not appear to increase perinatal risks in pregnant asthmatic women. The mechanism of the association between maternal oral corticosteroid use and prematurity remains to be determined.

    Title A Hospital-sponsored Quality Improvement Study of Pain Management After Cesarean Delivery.
    Date July 2004
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: We undertook this study to systematically assess prevailing pain management regimes used at our hospital in women after cesarean delivery. STUDY DESIGN: Between August 1999 and July 2000, all women delivered by cesarean section at Parkland Hospital were assigned to 1 of 4 different pain management strategies: (1). intramuscular (IM) meperidine, (2). patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) meperidine, (3). IM morphine sulfate, and (4). PCA morphine sulfate. A combination of methods were used to compare these different pain management strategies. A survey questionnaire, using Likert scale responses, was administered to evaluate maternal satisfaction with pain control. Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores and information regarding breastfeeding and rooming-in were also collected. RESULTS: A total of 1256 women were allocated to the 4 analgesia study groups. The median meperidine dosages for the IM and PCA groups were 350 mg and 600 mg, respectively (P <or=.01). Conversely, the median IM morphine dose (65 mg) was significantly higher than that for the PCA group (60 mg). The percentage of women reporting moderate or worse pain (VAS scores 4 or more) was significantly lower in those women who received PCA meperidine compared with IM meperidine. Women who received morphine reported less severe pain compared with meperidine, regardless of route of administration. The patients' subjective report of satisfaction with pain management was not related to the method or drug used for pain control (P=.13). Fewer women assigned to morphine therapy stopped breastfeeding (P=.02) and more roomed-in with their infants (P <.01). CONCLUSION: Pain relief was superior with the morphine regimens used and was positively associated with breastfeeding and infant rooming-in.

    Title Timing of Birth After Spontaneous Onset of Labor.
    Date May 2004
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To describe naturally occurring birth patterns in low-risk women with singleton gestations and spontaneous onset of labor at term. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The timing of birth of women who delivered in the low-risk labor unit at Parkland Hospital, Dallas, Texas, between January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2000, was analyzed. Women admitted to this unit were between 36(0/7) and 41(6/7) weeks of gestation, were in spontaneous labor, and had a singleton gestation. Women with contraindications to labor, significant medical problems, a known fetal anomaly, and stillbirths were excluded from analysis. The frequency of birth was analyzed in relation to the time of day, day of week, and month of the year. RESULTS: Low-risk women (n = 6608) met the study criteria and were included in the analysis. No association was found between the day of the week and the frequency of births (P =.31). Births were most common between the hours of 1 to 2 pm and least common between the hours of 10:00 to 12:00 hours (Central Standard Time, P =.04). Births were more common in the fall, September through November, and least common in the winter, December through February. Daylight Saving Time did not affect these results. CONCLUSION: Birth after the spontaneous onset of labor is most common in the early afternoon, and most births occur in the fall. There is no natural association between spontaneous birth in low-risk women and the day of the week. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-2

    Title Randomized Trial of Inhaled Beclomethasone Dipropionate Versus Theophylline for Moderate Asthma During Pregnancy.
    Date April 2004
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to compare the efficacy of inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate to oral theophylline for the prevention of asthma exacerbation(s) requiring medical intervention. STUDY DESIGN: A prospective, double-blind, double placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of pregnant women with moderate asthma was performed. RESULTS: There was no significant difference (P=.554) in the proportion of asthma exacerbations among the 194 women in the beclomethasone cohort (18.0%) versus the 191 in the theophylline cohort (20.4%; risk ratio [RR]=0.9, 95% CI=0.6-1.3). The beclomethasone cohort had significantly lower incidences of discontinuing study medications caused by side effects (RR=0.3, 95% CI=0.1-0.9; P=.016), and proportion of study visits with forced expiratory volume expired in 1 second (FEV1) less than 80% predicted (0.284+/-0.331 vs 0.284+/-0.221, P=.039). There were no significant differences in treatment failure, compliance, or proportion of peak expiratory flow rate less than 80% predicted. There were no significant differences in maternal or perinatal outcomes. CONCLUSION: The treatment of moderate asthma with inhaled beclomethasone versus oral theophylline resulted in similar rates of asthma exacerbations and similar obstetric and perinatal outcomes. These results favor the use of inhaled corticosteroids for moderate asthma during pregnancy because of the improved FEV1 and because theophylline had more side effects and requires serum monitoring.

    Title Labor Analgesia and Cesarean Delivery: an Individual Patient Meta-analysis of Nulliparous Women.
    Date February 2004
    Journal Anesthesiology
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: The authors performed an individual patient meta-analysis of 2,703 nulliparous women who were randomized to either epidural analgesia or intravenous opioids for pain relief during labor from five trials conducted at their hospital. The primary purpose in this meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of epidural analgesia during labor on the rate of cesarean delivery. METHODS: Between November 1, 1993, and November 3, 2000, 2,703 nulliparous women (2,188 healthy parturients and 515 women with pregnancy-induced hypertension) in spontaneous labor at term were randomized to receive either epidural analgesia or intravenous opioid analgesia in the five studies. Epidural analgesia was initiated with either epidural bupivacaine or intrathecal sufentanil and was maintained with a low-dose (0.0625% or 0.125%) mixture of bupivacaine with fentanyl. Intravenous opioid analgesia was initiated with 50 mg meperidine and 25 mg promethazine hydrochloride and was maintained with intravenous boluses of meperidine as needed. RESULTS: A total of 1,339 nulliparous women were randomized to receive epidural analgesia, and 1,364 women were randomized to receive intravenous meperidine analgesia. There was no difference in the rate of cesarean deliveries between the two analgesia groups (epidural analgesia, 10.5% [140 of 1,339] vs. intravenous meperidine analgesia, 10.3% [141 of 1,364]; adjusted odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 0.81-1.34; P = 0.920). Significantly more women randomized to epidural analgesia had forceps deliveries compared to meperidine analgesia (13% [172 of 1,339] vs. 7% [101 of 1,364]; adjusted odds ratio, 1.86; 95% confidence interval, 1.43-2.40; P < 0.001). Epidural women had longer first and second stages of labor. Women who received epidural analgesia reported lower pain scores during labor and delivery compared to women who received intravenous meperidine analgesia. CONCLUSION: Epidural analgesia compared to intravenous meperidine analgesia during labor does not increase the number of cesarean deliveries.

    Title Asthma During Pregnancy.
    Date January 2004
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine neonatal and maternal outcomes stratified by asthma severity during pregnancy by using the 1993 National Asthma Education Program Working Group on Asthma and Pregnancy definitions of asthma severity. The primary hypothesis was that moderate or severe asthmatics would have an increased incidence of delivery at <32 weeks of gestation compared with nonasthmatic controls. METHODS: This was a multicenter, prospective, observational cohort study conducted over 4 years at 16 university hospital centers. Asthma severity was defined according to the National Asthma Education Program Working Group on Asthma and Pregnancy classification and modified to include medication requirements. This study had 80% power to detect a 2- to 3-fold increase in delivery less than 32 weeks of gestation among the cohort with the moderate or severe asthma compared with controls. Secondary outcome measures included obstetrical and neonatal outcomes. RESULTS: The final analysis included 881 nonasthmatic controls, 873 with mild asthma, 814 with moderate, and 52 with severe asthma. There were no significant differences in the rates of preterm delivery less than 32 weeks (moderate or severe 3.0%, mild 3.4%, controls 3.3%; P =.873) or less than 37 weeks of gestation. There were no significant differences for neonatal outcomes except discharge diagnosis of neonatal sepsis among the mild group compared with controls, adjusted odds ratio 2.9, 95% confidence interval 1.2, 6.8. There were no significant differences for maternal complications except for an increase in overall cesarean delivery rate among the moderate-or-severe group compared with controls (adjusted odds ratio 1.4, 95% confidence interval 1.1, 1.8). CONCLUSION: Asthma was not associated with a significant increase in preterm delivery or other adverse perinatal outcomes other than a discharge diagnosis of neonatal sepsis. Cesarean delivery rate was increased among the cohort with moderate or severe asthma. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-2

    Title A Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial of Corticosteroids for Hyperemesis Due to Pregnancy.
    Date January 2004
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy for which there is no proven pharmacological treatment, is the third leading cause for hospitalization during pregnancy. Corticosteroids are commonly used for the treatment of nausea and vomiting due to cancer chemotherapy-induced emesis and might prove useful in hyperemesis gravidarum. METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 126 women who previously had not responded to outpatient therapy for hyperemesis gravidarum during the first half of pregnancy. Intravenous methylprednisolone (125 mg) was followed by an oral prednisone taper (40 mg for 1 day, 20 mg for 3 days, 10 mg for 3 days, 5 mg for 7 days) versus an identical-appearing placebo regimen. All women also received promethazine 25 mg and metoclopramide 10 mg intravenously every 6 hours for 24 hours, followed by the same regimen administered orally as needed until discharge. The primary study outcome was the number of women requiring rehospitalization for hyperemesis gravidarum. RESULTS: A total of 110 women delivered at our hospital and had pregnancy outcomes available for analysis; 56 were randomized to corticosteroids and 54 were administered placebo. Nineteen women in each study group required rehospitalization (34% versus 35%, P =.89, for corticosteroids versus placebo, respectively). CONCLUSION: The addition of parenteral and oral corticosteroids to the treatment of women with hyperemesis gravidarum did not reduce the need for rehospitalization later in pregnancy.

    Title Regional Analgesia and Progress of Labor.
    Date November 2003
    Journal Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Title Homocysteine Plasma Concentration Levels for the Prediction of Preeclampsia in Women with Chronic Hypertension.
    Date October 2003
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate prospectively midtrimester homocysteine concentration levels for the prediction of superimposed preeclampsia in women with chronic hypertension. STUDY DESIGN: Between March 1, 2000, and February 1, 2002, pregnancies that were complicated by chronic hypertension that required medication had homocysteine, vitamin B(12), and folate concentrations measured between 16 and 20 weeks of gestation. All women received folate supplementation. An upper limit threshold for increased homocysteine was defined as the mean value plus 2 SDs. RESULTS: Fifty-seven women were enrolled. Mean homocysteine concentration levels were 5.1+/-1.7 micromo/L for the 16 women who had preeclampsia compared with 4.7+/-1.3 micromo/L for the 41 women without preeclampsia (P=.56). Two of 16 women with preeclampsia (13%) had concentration levels that exceeded the 95th percentile (6.9 micromo/L) compared with 2 of 41 women (5%) without preeclampsia (P=.31). The sensitivity and specificity were 13% (95% CI, 1.6-38.3) and 95.1% (95% CI, 83.5-99.4), respectively. CONCLUSION: Second-trimester homocysteine concentration levels were not helpful in the prediction of preeclampsia in chronically hypertensive women.

    Title Asthma Morbidity During Pregnancy Can Be Predicted by Severity Classification.
    Date September 2003
    Journal The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: The 1993 National Asthma Education Program Working Group on Asthma and Pregnancy defined asthma severity as mild, moderate, or severe on the basis of symptoms and spirometry, but no studies have evaluated the relationship between this classification system and subsequent asthma morbidity during pregnancy. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between asthma severity classification during pregnancy and gestational asthma exacerbations. METHODS: Asthma severity was defined according to the 1993 classification, adjusted to include medication requirements, in a volunteer sample of 1739 pregnant asthmatic patients who were less than 26 weeks' gestation. RESULTS: Initial asthma classification (mild, moderate, or severe) was significantly related to subsequent asthma morbidity during pregnancy (hospitalizations, unscheduled visits, corticosteroid requirements, and asthma symptoms during labor and delivery). Exacerbations during pregnancy occurred in 12.6% of patients initially classified as mild, 25.7% of patients classified as moderate, and 51.9% of patients classified as severe (P <.001). Asthma morbidity was similar, whether patients were classified as moderate or severe by symptoms and spirometry or by medication requirement. Thirty percent of initially mild patients were reclassified as moderate-severe during pregnancy, and 23% of the initially moderate-severe patients were reclassified as mild later in pregnancy; asthma morbidity in these patients changed accordingly. CONCLUSION: The National Asthma Education Program Working Group on Asthma and Pregnancy classification of asthma severity, adapted to include medication use, predicts subsequent asthma morbidity during pregnancy.

    Title A Comparison of the Effects of Epidural and Meperidine Analgesia During Labor on Fetal Heart Rate.
    Date August 2003
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To estimate the effects of initiation of epidural analgesia on fetal heart rate (FHR) patterns compared with intravenous meperidine analgesia. METHODS: Fetal heart rate patterns in 200 nulliparous women with term pregnancies randomized to epidural analgesia with 0.25% bupivacaine were compared with those of 156 similar women given intravenous meperidine. Fetal heart rate patterns occurring within 40 minutes of initiation of labor analgesia were retrospectively read by three maternal-fetal medicine specialists who were blind to clinical events, including type of labor analgesia. RESULTS: Meperidine, compared with epidural analgesia, was associated with statistically significantly less beat-to-beat variability (absent or less than 5 beats per minute) of the FHR (30% versus 7% of fetuses, P <.001) in the first 40 minutes after initiation of analgesia, as well as with fewer FHR accelerations (88% versus 62% of fetuses, P <.001). Neither the incidence of FHR decelerations nor the type of deceleration were significantly different between methods of labor analgesia. Specifically, 41% of women given meperidine exhibited FHR decelerations within 40 minutes, compared with 34% given epidural analgesia (P =.353). CONCLUSION: Epidural analgesia does not have deleterious effects on FHR.

    Title Recurrence of Mild Malformations and Dysplasias.
    Date August 2003
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To estimate whether women delivering infants with mild malformations are at increased risk to have a subsequent infant with a mild malformation. METHODS: Both severe and mild malformations detected at birth were cataloged prospectively for 33,701 women with two consecutive singleton births of infants weighing 500 g or more at a tertiary care hospital. Records from a total of 67,402 infants were analyzed from January 1, 1988, through December 31, 2000. Mild malformations and dysplasias were defined to include skin lesions (eg, café au lait spots, nevi, and hemangiomas), extra nipples, and abnormalities involving digits. Pearson and McNemar chi(2) statistics and analysis of variance were used for statistical analysis. Estimation of recurrence risks was accomplished using standard methods for rates and proportions. RESULTS: Of the study women, 2.7% delivered infants with mild malformations in their index pregnancy. Mild malformations recurred in 7% of women whose index infant had a mild malformation (2.7% versus 7%, P <.001). Mild malformations involving the skin or digits also significantly increased in the next delivery (2% versus 5%, P <.001; 0.5% versus 8%, P <.001; recurrence of skin and digit anomalies, respectively). CONCLUSION: Women delivering infants with mild malformations involving the skin and digits of the infant are at increased risk for recurrence during their next pregnancy.

    Title Corticosteroid Use in Special Circumstances: Preterm Ruptured Membranes, Hypertension, Fetal Growth Restriction, Multiple Fetuses.
    Date August 2003
    Journal Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Title Prevention of Recurrent Preterm Delivery by 17 Alpha-hydroxyprogesterone Caproate.
    Date June 2003
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Women who have had a spontaneous preterm delivery are at greatly increased risk for preterm delivery in subsequent pregnancies. The results of several small trials have suggested that 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) may reduce the risk of preterm delivery. METHODS: We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving pregnant women with a documented history of spontaneous preterm delivery. Women were enrolled at 19 clinical centers at 16 to 20 weeks of gestation and randomly assigned by a central data center, in a 2:1 ratio, to receive either weekly injections of 250 mg of 17P or weekly injections of an inert oil placebo; injections were continued until delivery or to 36 weeks of gestation. The primary outcome was preterm delivery before 37 weeks of gestation. Analysis was performed according to the intention-to-treat principle. RESULTS: Base-line characteristics of the 310 women in the progesterone group and the 153 women in the placebo group were similar. Treatment with 17P significantly reduced the risk of delivery at less than 37 weeks of gestation (incidence, 36.3 percent in the progesterone group vs. 54.9 percent in the placebo group; relative risk, 0.66 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.81]), delivery at less than 35 weeks of gestation (incidence, 20.6 percent vs. 30.7 percent; relative risk, 0.67 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.48 to 0.93]), and delivery at less than 32 weeks of gestation (11.4 percent vs. 19.6 percent; relative risk, 0.58 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.37 to 0.91]). Infants of women treated with 17P had significantly lower rates of necrotizing enterocolitis, intraventricular hemorrhage, and need for supplemental oxygen. CONCLUSIONS: Weekly injections of 17P resulted in a substantial reduction in the rate of recurrent preterm delivery among women who were at particularly high risk for preterm delivery and reduced the likelihood of several complications in their infants.

    Title Randomized Clinical Trial of Metronidazole Plus Erythromycin to Prevent Spontaneous Preterm Delivery in Fetal Fibronectin-positive Women.
    Date June 2003
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To estimate whether antibiotic treatment of asymptomatic women with a positive cervical or vaginal fetal fibronectin test in the second trimester would reduce the risk of spontaneous preterm delivery. METHODS: Women were screened between 21 weeks 0 days and 25 weeks 6 days of gestation with cervical or vaginal swabs for fetal fibronectin. Women with a positive test (50 ng/mL or more) were randomized to receive metronidazole (250 mg orally three times per day) and erythromycin (250 mg orally four times per day) or identical placebo pills for 10 days. The primary outcome was spontaneous delivery before 37 weeks' gestation after preterm labor or premature membrane rupture. RESULTS: A total of 16,317 women were screened for fetal fibronectin, and 6.6% had a positive test; 715 fetal fibronectin test-positive women consented to randomization. Outcome data were available for 703 women: 347 in the antibiotic group and 356 in the placebo group. The antibiotic and placebo groups were not significantly different for maternal age (P =.051), ethnicity (P =.849), marital status (P =.127), education (P =.244), and bacterial vaginosis (P =.236). No difference was observed in spontaneous preterm birth before 37 weeks' (odds ratio [OR] 1.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.80, 1.70), less than 35 weeks' (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.54, 1.56), or less than 32 weeks' (OR 1.94, 95% CI 0.83, 4.52) gestation in antibiotic- compared with placebo-treated women. Among women with a prior spontaneous preterm delivery, the rate of repeat spontaneous preterm delivery at less than 37 weeks' gestation was significantly higher in the active drug compared with the placebo group (46.7% versus 23.9%, P =.039). CONCLUSION: Treatment with metronidazole plus erythromycin of asymptomatic women with a positive cervical or vaginal fetal fibronectin test in the late second trimester does not decrease the incidence of spontaneous preterm delivery.

    Title Early Pregnancy Threshold Vaginal Ph and Gram Stain Scores Predictive of Subsequent Preterm Birth in Asymptomatic Women.
    Date April 2003
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The study was undertaken to identify early pregnancy vaginal markers predictive of subsequent preterm birth. STUDY DESIGN: In a multicenter Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) Trial, 21,554 women were screened with a vaginal pH and of these, two populations were studied. These included 12,041 who had a pregnancy outcome in the database and 6838 women who had a vaginal pH of 4.5 or greater and a Gram stain score and a pregnancy outcome in the database. ColorpHast Indicator Strips were used to determine the vaginal pH and the Nugent criteria were used to determine a vaginal Gram stain score of 0 to 10. RESULTS: Delivery at <37, <35, or <32 weeks' gestation was similar for women with a vaginal pH of less than 4.4 or 4.7 (P not significant) but was increased in women with a pH of 5.0 (P =.04,.02,.03, respectively) or with a pH of 5.0 or greater (at each gestational age P <.0001). The effect of pH of 5.0 or greater was similar for women who had a spontaneous preterm birth at each gestational age (P <.0001) or birth weight of less than 2500 g or less than 1500 g (P <.0005). Women with a vaginal pH of 4.5 or greater and a Gram stain score of 9 to 10 (compared with 0-8) had increased preterm births at <37, <35, and <32 weeks' gestation (P <.01), and birth weights less than 2500 g (P <.0001) or less than 1500 g (P <.01). Women whose vaginal pH was 5.0 or greater had a higher prevalence of vaginal fetal fibronectin > or =50 ng/mL (P <.0001), but the proportion of women with a vaginal fetal fibronectin > or =50 mg/mL did not differ by Gram stain score. CONCLUSION: Women with a vaginal pH of 5.0 or greater or a vaginal pH of 4.5 or greater and a Gram stain score of 9 to 10 had significantly increased preterm births at <37, <35, and 32 weeks' gestation and/or a birth weight less than 2500 g or less than 1500 g.

    Title Ruptured Membranes at Term: Randomized, Double-blind Trial of Oral Misoprostol for Labor Induction.
    Date April 2003
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine if oral misoprostol can replace oxytocin for labor stimulation in women with ruptured membranes at term and without evidence of labor. METHODS: Nulliparous women at 36 to 41 weeks with a singleton, cephalic-presenting fetus and ruptured membranes without evidence of labor were randomized to receive oral misoprostol (100 microg) or a placebo every 4 hours for a maximum of two doses. Intravenous oxytocin was initiated if active labor had not ensued within 8 hours of the initial study drug dose. RESULTS: Fifty-one women were randomized to oral misoprostol and 51 women to the placebo. Misoprostol reduced the use of oxytocin stimulation of labor from 90% to 37% (P <.001) and was associated with approximately a 7-hour shorter elapsed time in the labor unit. Uterine hyperactivity, defined as six or more contractions in 10 minutes without fetal heart rate decelerations, occurred in 25% of women randomized to misoprostol. However, uterine hyperactivity associated with fetal heart rate decelerations occurred in only three (6%) women, none of whom required emergency cesarean delivery. Route of delivery and infant outcomes were not related to misoprostol use. CONCLUSION: Oral misoprostol (100 microg) given in a maximum of two doses 4 hours apart significantly reduced the use of oxytocin in the management of women with ruptured membranes without labor at term.

    Title Inhibin-a and Superimposed Preeclampsia in Women with Chronic Hypertension.
    Date March 2003
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine if maternal serum inhibin-A can be used as a marker for subsequent development of superimposed preeclampsia in women with chronic hypertension. METHODS: Serum for measurement of inhibin-A was obtained at monthly intervals in women with chronic hypertension requiring antihypertensive medications. Superimposed preeclampsia, the primary outcome of interest, was diagnosed when hypertensive women developed proteinuria (at least 300 mg per 24-hour urine specimen). Serum inhibin-A was considered abnormally elevated when the value exceeded the mean plus two standard deviations of the log for chronically hypertensive women who did not develop preeclampsia. RESULTS: A total of 61 women were enrolled in this study, and 21 (34%) developed superimposed preeclampsia. Inhibin-A levels increased with advancing gestational age. Ten women had abnormally increased inhibin-A levels; eight (80%) developed superimposed preeclampsia, compared with 13 of 51 (26%) women with normal inhibin-A levels (P <.001). Sensitivity and specificity were 38% and 95%, respectively, whereas the positive and negative predictive values were 80% and 75%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Although inhibin-A was abnormally increased an average of 3 weeks before the clinical onset of superimposed preeclampsia, the sensitivity of the test as a screen was too limited to be clinically useful.

    Title Sexual Intercourse Association with Asymptomatic Bacterial Vaginosis and Trichomonas Vaginalis Treatment in Relationship to Preterm Birth.
    Date December 2002
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether sexual intercourse was associated with the treatment efficacy or the incidence of preterm birth in two large randomized trials in which metronidazole treatment of bacterial vaginosis or Trichomonas vaginalis did not reduce preterm birth. STUDY DESIGN: Secondary analysis of two multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in which women with asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis on Gram stain or asymptomatic T vaginalis on culture were randomized at 16 to 23 weeks of gestation to metronidazole or placebo. In both studies, women took 2 g of metronidazole or placebo in the presence of a nurse (first dose) and were given a second dose to take 48 hours later. This regimen was repeated (third and fourth doses) at 24 to 29 weeks. At the time of the third dose, bacterial vaginosis and T vaginalis specimens were collected again. Patients who were randomly selected to receive metronidazole were analyzed for bacterial vaginosis and T vaginalis at 24 to 29 weeks and for preterm birth of <37 weeks of gestation, according to intercourse between first and second doses and between the second and third doses. Continuous variables were compared with the use of the Wilcoxon rank-sum test; categoric variables were compared with the use of the chi(2 ) test, Fisher exact test, or the Mantel-Haenzel test of trend. RESULTS: Sexual intercourse between the first and second doses or between the second and third doses did not influence the incidence of bacterial vaginosis (18% vs 24%; relative risk, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.5-1.1; and 23% vs 20%; relative risk, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.9-1.6, respectively) or T vaginalis (4% vs 8%; relative risk, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.1-3.6; and 5% vs 10%; relative risk, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.2-1.1; respectively) at 24 to 29 weeks of gestation compared with no intercourse. In the T vaginalis trial, sexual intercourse between the first and second doses or between the second and third doses did not influence the incidence of preterm birth (13% vs 17%; relative risk, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.3-2.1; and 16% vs 17%; relative risk, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.6-1.6; respectively) compared with no intercourse. In the bacterial vaginosis trial, although sexual intercourse between the first and second doses did not influence the incidence of preterm birth (11% vs 12%; relative risk, 0.9; 95 % CI, 0.6-1.5), sexual intercourse between the second and third doses was associated with a reduction in the incidence of preterm birth (10% vs 16%; relative risk, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4-0.9) compared with no intercourse. CONCLUSION: Sexual intercourse was associated with neither the efficacy of metronidazole treatment of bacterial vaginosis or T vaginalis nor with the incidence of preterm birth. In the bacterial vaginosis study, intercourse between the second and third doses had a negative association with preterm birth.

    Title Maternal Diabetes Mellitus and Infant Malformations.
    Date December 2002
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of pregestational, as opposed to gestational, diabetes on infant malformations. METHODS: All women delivering infants at Parkland Hospital between January 1, 1991, and December 31, 2000, were ascertained. Screening for gestational diabetes was methodically employed throughout the study period using National Diabetes Data Group criteria for diagnosis of pregestational and gestational diabetes. Standardized definitions of major infant malformations were specified before data analysis and subdivided according to the organ systems involved. RESULTS: A total of 145,196 women were delivered during the study period, and 2687 (1.9%) were diagnosed to have diabetes mellitus. Gestational diabetes was diagnosed in 2277 (1.6%) of whom 230 (10%) had fasting hyperglycemia diagnosed, and the remainder consistently demonstrated fasting serum levels less than 105 mg/dL. Pregestational diabetes was diagnosed in 410 (0.3%) women. Infant malformations occurred in 1.5% of nondiabetic women compared with 1.2% of women with normal fasting glucose gestational diabetes, 4.8% in women with gestational diabetes plus fasting hyperglycemia, and 6.1% in those with pregestational diabetes (P <.001, for comparison of the latter two groups with the nondiabetic population). CONCLUSION: Women with pregestational diabetes or gestational diabetes plus fasting hyperglycemia have a three- to four-fold increased risk of infant malformations, whereas women with mild gestational diabetes have malformation rates no different than the general nondiabetic obstetric population.

    Title Epidural Analgesia Lengthens the Friedman Active Phase of Labor.
    Date August 2002
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To estimate the effect of epidural analgesia on the Friedman labor curve. METHODS: This study was a secondary analysis of a previously reported randomized trial of the effects of patient-controlled epidural analgesia during labor compared with patient-controlled meperidine on cesarean delivery rate. All subjects had a singleton, cephalic, nonanomalous fetus at or beyond 37 weeks' gestation. This secondary analysis was limited to women who had cervical dilatation commencing of at least 3 cm (ie, active phase of labor). RESULTS: A total of 459 women were randomized. Twenty-five women were excluded for a cervix less than 3 cm dilated, leaving 220 women allocated to patient-controlled epidural analgesia and 214 to patient-controlled intravenous meperidine available for analysis. There were no significant demographic differences between the two groups, including age, race, gestational age, and cervix on admission. The active phase of labor was 1 hour longer in the epidural-treated group (6.0 +/- 3.2 hours versus 5.0 +/- 3.2 hours, P <.001). The rate of cervical dilation was significantly less with epidural analgesia (1.4 cm/h versus 1.6 cm/h, P <.002). The duration of the second stage tended to be longer in the epidural group (1.1 +/- 1.5 hours versus 0.9 +/- 1.0 hours, P =.079). CONCLUSION: Epidural analgesia prolonged the active phase of labor by 1 hour compared with Friedman's original criteria.

    Title Inhibin-a Levels and Severity of Hypertensive Disorders Due to Pregnancy.
    Date August 2002
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the use of 3rd trimester inhibin-A levels as an adjunct to assess severity of hypertensive disorders due to pregnancy in women evaluated for preeclampsia. METHODS: Serum inhibin-A concentration was measured in a consecutive series of women evaluated for preeclampsia in the third trimester of pregnancy. RESULTS: Inhibin-A levels were significantly associated with the severity of proteinuric hypertensive disease due to pregnancy. Women with gestational hypertension or those with chronic hypertension without superimposed preeclampsia had levels comparable with normotensive women. The sensitivity to detect proteinuric hypertension was 16%. CONCLUSION: Although inhibin-A levels rise with increasing severity of disease, due to considerable overlap of normal and abnormal serum levels in women with and without preeclampsia, inhibin-A is not a useful adjunct for the classification of hypertensive disorders due to pregnancy.

    Title Prevention of Neonatal Group B Streptococcal Disease: A Combined Intrapartum and Neonatal Protocol.
    Date June 2002
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: We sought to assess the efficacy of a clinical protocol to reduce the incidence of early-onset neonatal group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection. STUDY DESIGN: We assessed neonatal sepsis from GBS and other organisms with use of a before-after study design to evaluate the effects of implementation of combined intrapartum antimicrobial prophylaxis given selectively to mothers with GBS risks and penicillin G given to all neonates. RESULTS: In 1994, early-onset GBS infection developed in 31 of 13,887 live births (2.2/1000), 13 preterm and 18 term cases. After implementation of the prophylaxis protocol (1995), 6 of 13,527 live births had early-onset GBS (0.4/1000) (P <.001). There were no preterm (P =.0004) and 6 term GBS cases (P =.02). The efficacy continued through 1999 (0.5/1000) without an increase in neonatal infections from other bacteria. CONCLUSION: Combined maternal and infant antimicrobial prophylaxis can significantly and safely reduce rates of early-onset GBS infection in both preterm and term infants.

    Title Umbilical Vein Interleukin-6 Levels Correlate with the Severity of Placental Inflammation and Gestational Age.
    Date May 2002
    Journal Human Pathology
    Excerpt

    Interleukin-6 (IL6) and suppurating placental inflammation are markers of neonatal sepsis. The purpose of this study was to define a relationship between IL6 and acute chorioamnionitis and funisitis of the placenta, and to compare IL6 levels in term and preterm neonates. Umbilical venous IL6 was measured in 137 term and 110 preterm neonates. Acute chorioamnionitis was graded as none, mild, moderate, severe, and necrotizing. Funisitis was graded as none, 1 vessel, 2 vessels, 3 vessels, or necrotizing. A 2-way analysis of variance with interaction was used to compare the IL6 levels. There was a stepwise progression of IL6 levels with increasing severity of acute chorioamnionitis and funisitis. Term neonates showed an IL6 elevation with mild acute chorioamnionitis and single-vessel vasculitis, which increased progressively until the inflammation became severe. In contrast, IL6 levels in preterm neonates did not increase significantly until severe acute chorioamnionitis or 3-vessel vasculitis was seen. Statistically significant differences in IL6 levels were seen in term versus preterm infants when the acute chorioamnionitis was mild or moderate or when the funisitis involved either 1 or 2 vessels (P < 0.05). The difference may be related to the relative immaturity of the preterm immune system, as has been demonstrated in vivo and in vitro. However, differences in management could be confounding factors. In conclusion, umbilical venous IL6 levels correlate with the severity of acute placental inflammation, with greater IL6 elevations in term infants compared to preterm infants until the inflammation becomes severe.

    Title Cesarean Delivery: a Randomized Trial of Epidural Analgesia Versus Intravenous Meperidine Analgesia During Labor in Nulliparous Women.
    Date April 2002
    Journal Anesthesiology
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Controversy concerning increased cesarean births as a result of epidural analgesia for relief of labor pain has been attributed, in large part, to difficulties interpreting published studies because of design flaws. In this study, the authors compared epidural analgesia to intravenous meperidine analgesia using patient-controlled devices during labor to evaluate the effects of labor epidural analgesia, primarily on the rate of cesarean deliveries while minimizing limitations attributable to study design. METHODS: Four hundred fifty-nine nulliparous women in spontaneous labor at term were randomly assigned to receive either epidural analgesia or intravenous meperidine analgesia. Epidural analgesia was initiated with 0.25% bupivacaine and was maintained with 0.0625% bupivacaine and fentanyl 2 microg/ml at 6 ml/h with 5-ml bolus doses every 15 min as needed using a patient-controlled pump. Women in the intravenous analgesia group received 50 mg meperidine with 25 mg promethazine hydrochloride as an initial bolus, followed by 15 mg meperidine every 10 min as needed, using a patient-controlled pump. A written procedural manual that prescribed the intrapartum obstetric management was followed for each woman randomized in the study. RESULTS: A total of 226 women were randomized to receive epidural analgesia, and 233 women were randomized to receive intravenous meperidine analgesia. Protocol violations occurred in 8% (38 of 459) of women. There was no difference in the rate of cesarean deliveries between the two analgesia groups (epidural analgesia, 7% [16 of 226; 95% confidence interval, 4-11%] vs. intravenous meperidine analgesia, 9% [20 of 233; 95% confidence interval, 5-13%]; P = 0.61). Significantly more women randomized to epidural analgesia had forceps deliveries compared with those randomized to meperidine analgesia (12% [26 of 226] vs. 3% [7 of 233]; P < 0.001). Women who received epidural analgesia reported lower pain scores during labor and delivery compared with women who received intravenous meperidine analgesia. CONCLUSIONS: Epidural analgesia compared with intravenous meperidine analgesia during labor does not increase cesarean deliveries in nulliparous women.

    Title Onset and Persistence of Postpartum Depression in an Inner-city Maternal Health Clinic System.
    Date December 2001
    Journal The American Journal of Psychiatry
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Postpartum depressive disorders lead to maternal disability and disturbed mother-infant relationships, but information regarding the rates of major depressive disorder in minority women is noticeably lacking. The goal of this study was to determine whether the risk factors for and rate of postpartum major depressive disorder in a predominantly African American and Hispanic clinic population would be similar to those reported for Caucasian women. METHOD: Investigators systematically screened all women scheduled for their first postpartum visit on selected days at four publicly funded inner-city community maternal health clinics in Dallas County (N=802). A multistage screening process included the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV for a maximum of three assessments during the initial 3-5-week postpartum period. RESULTS: The estimated rate of major depressive disorder during the postpartum period among women in this setting was between 6.5% and 8.5%. Only 50% of the depressed women reported onset following birth. Bottle-feeding and not living with one's spouse or significant other were associated with depression at the first evaluation; persistent depressive symptoms were linked with the presence of other young children at home. Greater severity of depressive symptoms at first contact predicted major depressive disorder several weeks later. CONCLUSIONS: Rates of postpartum depression among Latina and African American postpartum women are similar to epidemiologic rates for Caucasian postpartum and nonpostpartum women. As previously shown for Caucasian women, major depressive disorder in many Latina and African American postpartum women begins before delivery, revealing the need to screen pregnant women for depression.

    Title A Randomized Trial of Labor Analgesia in Women with Pregnancy-induced Hypertension.
    Date December 2001
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare the peripartum and perinatal effects of epidural with intravenous labor analgesia in women with pregnancy-induced hypertension. STUDY DESIGN: Women with pregnancy-induced hypertension who had consented to participate were randomized to receive either epidural or intravenous analgesia for labor pain. Both methods were given according to standardized protocols. All women received magnesium sulfate seizure prophylaxis. Obstetric and neonatal outcomes were compared according to intent-to-treat allocation. RESULTS: Seven hundred thirty-eight women were randomized: 372 women were given epidural analgesia, and 366 women were given intravenous analgesia. Maternal characteristics were similar, including the severity of hypertension. Epidural analgesia was associated with a significantly prolonged second-stage labor, an increase in forceps deliveries, and an increase in chorioamnionitis. Cesarean delivery rates and neonatal outcomes were similar. Pain relief was superior with the epidural method. Hypotension required treatment in 11% of women in the epidural group. CONCLUSION: Epidural labor analgesia provides superior pain relief but no additional therapeutic benefit to women with pregnancy-induced hypertension.

    Title Recurrence of Preterm Birth in Singleton and Twin Pregnancies.
    Date September 2001
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To assess recurrence of preterm birth and its impact on an obstetric population. METHODS: Women with consecutive births at our hospital beginning with their first pregnancy were identified (n = 15,945). The first pregnancy was categorized as delivered between 24 and 34 weeks' gestation or 35 weeks or beyond, singleton or twin, and spontaneous or induced. The risk of preterm delivery in these same women during subsequent pregnancies was then analyzed. RESULTS: Compared with women who delivered a singleton at or beyond 35 weeks' gestation in their first pregnancy, those who delivered a singleton before 35 weeks were at a significant increased risk for recurrence (odds ratio [OR] 5.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.5, 7.0), whereas those who delivered twins were not (OR 1.9, 95% CI 0.46, 8.14). The OR for recurrent spontaneous preterm birth presenting with intact membranes was 7.9 (95% CI 5.6, 11.3) compared with 5.5 (95% CI 3.2, 9.4) with ruptured membranes. Of those women with a recurrent preterm birth, 49% delivered within 1 week of the gestational age of their first delivery and 70% delivered within 2 weeks. Among 15,863 nulliparous women with singleton births at their first delivery, a history of preterm birth in that pregnancy could predict only 10% of the preterm births that ultimately occurred in the entire obstetric population. CONCLUSION: In a population-based study at our hospital, women who initially delivered preterm and thus were identified to be at risk for recurrence ultimately accounted for only 10% of the prematurity problem in the cohort.

    Title Failure of Metronidazole to Prevent Preterm Delivery Among Pregnant Women with Asymptomatic Trichomonas Vaginalis Infection.
    Date August 2001
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Infection with Trichomonas vaginalis during pregnancy has been associated with preterm delivery. It is uncertain whether treatment of asymptomatic trichomoniasis in pregnant women reduces the occurrence of preterm delivery. METHODS: We screened pregnant women for trichomoniasis by culture of vaginal secretions. We randomly assigned 617 women with asymptomatic trichomoniasis who were 16 to 23 weeks pregnant to receive two 2-g doses of metronidazole (320 women) or placebo (297 women) 48 hours apart. We treated women again with the same two-dose regimen at 24 to 29 weeks of gestation. The primary outcome was delivery before 37 weeks of gestation. RESULTS: Between randomization and follow-up, trichomoniasis resolved in 249 of 269 women for whom follow-up cultures were available in the metronidazole group (92.6 percent) and 92 of 260 women with follow-up cultures in the placebo group (35.4 percent). Data on the time and characteristics of delivery were available for 315 women in the metronidazole group and 289 women in the placebo group. Delivery occurred before 37 weeks of gestation in 60 women in the metronidazole group (19.0 percent) and 31 women in the placebo group (10.7 percent) (relative risk, 1.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.2 to 2.7; P=0.004). The difference was attributable primarily to an increase in preterm delivery resulting from spontaneous preterm labor (10.2 percent vs. 3.5 percent; relative risk, 3.0; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.5 to 5.9). CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of pregnant women with asymptomatic trichomoniasis does not prevent preterm delivery. Routine screening and treatment of asymptomatic pregnant women for this condition cannot be recommended.

    Title Prolonged Pregnancy: Induction of Labor and Cesarean Births.
    Date June 2001
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of labor induction on cesarean delivery in post-date pregnancies. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 1325 women who reached 41 weeks' gestation between December 1, 1997, and April 4, 2000, and who were scheduled for induction of labor at 42 weeks were included in this prospective observational study. Cesarean delivery rates were compared between those women who entered spontaneous labor and those who underwent induction. Women with any medical or obstetric risk factors were excluded. A power analysis was performed to determine how many patients would be required to show no effect of labor induction on cesarean delivery with a beta of.8 and an alpha of.05. Approximately 5200 patients would be required, taking an estimated 28 years to accrue at our institution. RESULTS: Admission to delivery was longer (5.7 compared with 11.1 hours, P =.001) and more likely to extend beyond 10 hours (55 compared with 24%, P =.001) in the induction group. Cesarean deliveries were increased in the induced group (19 compared with 14%, P <.001) due to cesarean for failure to progress (14 compared with 8%, P <.001). Independent risk factors for cesarean delivery included nulliparity, undilated cervix prior to labor, and epidural analgesia. Correction for these risk factors using logistic regression analysis revealed that it was the risk factors, and not induction of labor per se, that increased cesarean delivery. CONCLUSION: Risk factors intrinsic to the patient, rather than labor induction itself, are the cause of excess cesarean deliveries in women with prolonged pregnancies.

    Title Intensity of Labor Pain and Cesarean Delivery.
    Date June 2001
    Journal Anesthesia and Analgesia
    Excerpt

    Some authors have suggested that the intensity of labor pain may be related to labor dystocia. We performed a secondary analysis of a previously published randomized investigation of the effects of epidural analgesia during labor compared with patient-controlled IV meperidine on cesarean delivery. Two-hundred-fifty-nine women who received patient-controlled IV meperidine were identified for analysis. All women were in spontaneous labor with a singleton, term gestation. Women requiring 50 mg or more of meperidine per hour during labor were compared with those who required <50 mg/h. In addition, their pain scores (visual analog scale) were compared before and after analgesia administration. Pain scores were significantly higher in women requiring 50 mg/h of meperidine (8.7 vs 8.0, P = 0.05), and their labors tended to be longer (9 vs 5 h, P = 0.09). More cesarean deliveries for obstructed labor were performed in women requiring >50 mg/h of meperidine (14% vs 1.4%, P = 0.001). Neonatal outcomes were similar in the two groups.

    Title Antenatal Dexamethasone and Decreased Birth Weight.
    Date April 2001
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that antenatal dexamethasone treatment to promote fetal lung maturation results in decreased birth weight corrected for gestational age. METHODS: The birth weights of all dexamethasone-treated, singleton, live-born infants delivered at our hospital were compared with our overall obstetric population; a group of untreated infants frequency matched approximately 3:1 according to maternal race, infant sex, and gestational age at delivery; and an historical cohort of infants with an indication for dexamethasone but delivered in the 12 months before the introduction of corticosteroid therapy at our hospital. RESULTS: Dexamethasone-treated infants (n = 961), when compared with either the overall population (n = 122,629) or matched controls (n = 2808), had significantly lower birth weights after adjustment for week of gestation (P <.001). Compared with the historical cohort of infants, the average birth weight of dexamethasone-treated infants was smaller by 12 g at 24-26 weeks, 63 g at 27-29 weeks, 161 g at 30-32 weeks, and 80 g at 33-34 weeks' gestation. CONCLUSION: Antenatal dexamethasone administered to promote fetal maturation is associated with diminished birth weight.

    Title Outcomes Among Term Infants when Two-hour Postnatal Ph is Compared with Ph at Delivery.
    Date March 2001
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to measure infant outcomes when pH at birth was compared with neonatal pH determined within 2 hours of age. STUDY DESIGN: We retrospectively studied term infants born between January 1, 1988, and August 31, 1998, who had umbilical artery blood pH measured at birth and again from the radial artery or umbilical artery within 2 hours after birth. Statistical significance was determined with the chi2 test. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated by means of the Mantel-Haenszel method. RESULTS: Data from a total of 1691 infants were analyzed: 178 (11%) had acidemia at birth (pH of <7.20) that persisted through the first 2 hours after birth; 110 (6%) had development of acidemia after birth; and 594 (35%) were born with a cord pH of <7.20 that improved after delivery. The remaining 809 infants (48%) did not have acidemia either at birth or during the neonatal period, and these served as the reference group. Seizures during the first 24 hours after birth were more likely among those infants with persistent acidemia (odds ratio, 13.0; 95% confidence interval, 6.3-26.7). The odds ratio for seizures among infants in whom acidemia developed after birth was 5.7 (95% confidence interval, 2.2-14.5). Other than the reference group, the infants who were born with acidemia that was corrected by 2 hours after birth had the lowest risk of seizures (odds ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-5.3). Significant differences in neonatal outcomes persisted after correction for anomalies. CONCLUSION: The direction of pH change from birth to the immediate neonatal period was significantly related to morbidity and mortality among term infants who were ill at birth or became ill shortly thereafter.

    Title The Continuing Value of the Apgar Score for the Assessment of Newborn Infants.
    Date February 2001
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: The 10-point Apgar score has been used to assess the condition and prognosis of newborn infants throughout the world for almost 50 years. Some investigators have proposed that measurement of pH in umbilical-artery blood is a more objective method of assessing newborn infants. METHODS: We carried out a retrospective cohort analysis of 151,891 live-born singleton infants without malformations who were delivered at 26 weeks of gestation or later at an inner-city public hospital between January 1988 and December 1998. Paired Apgar scores and umbilical-artery blood pH values were determined for 145,627 infants to assess which test best predicted neonatal death during the first 28 days after birth. RESULTS: For 13,399 infants born before term (at 26 to 36 weeks of gestation), the neonatal mortality rate was 315 per 1000 for infants with five-minute Apgar scores of 0 to 3, as compared with 5 per 1000 for infants with five-minute Apgar scores of 7 to 10. For 132,228 infants born at term (37 weeks of gestation or later), the mortality rate was 244 per 1000 for infants with five-minute Apgar scores of 0 to 3, as compared with 0.2 per 1000 for infants with five-minute Apgar scores of 7 to 10. The risk of neonatal death in term infants with five-minute Apgar scores of 0 to 3 (relative risk, 1460; 95 percent confidence interval, 835 to 2555) was eight times the risk in term infants with umbilical-artery blood pH values of 7.0 or less (180; 95 percent confidence interval, 97 to 334). CONCLUSIONS: The Apgar scoring system remains as relevant for the prediction of neonatal survival today as it was almost 50 years ago.

    Title Maternal Age and Malformations in Singleton Births.
    Date December 2000
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of maternal age on incidence of nonchromosomal fetal malformations. METHODS: Malformations detected at birth or in the newborn nursery were catalogued prospectively for 102,728 pregnancies, including abortions, stillbirths, and live births, from January 1, 1988 to December 31, 1994. Maternal age was divided into seven epochs. Relative risks (RRs) were used to compare demographic variables and specific malformations. The Mantel-Haenszel chi(2) statistic was used to compare age-specific anomalies. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to adjust for parity. RESULTS: Abnormal karyotypes were significantly more frequent in older women. After excluding infants with chromosomal abnormalities, the incidence of structurally malformed infants also was increased significantly and progressively in women 25 years of age or older. The additional age-related risk of nonchromosomal malformations was approximately 1% in women 35 years of age or older. The odds ratio for cardiac defects was 3.95 in infants of women 40 years of age or older (95% CI 1.70, 9.17) compared with women aged 20-24 years. The risks of clubfoot and diaphragmatic hernia also increased as maternal age increased. CONCLUSION: Advanced maternal age beyond 25 years was associated with significantly increased risk of fetuses having congenital malformations not caused by aneuploidy.

    Title Impact of Head-to-abdominal Circumference Asymmetry on Outcomes in Growth-discordant Twins.
    Date December 2000
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to evaluate head-to-abdominal circumference asymmetry as a marker for adverse outcomes in growth-discordant twins. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of asymmetric and symmetric twins with > or =25% growth discordance, comparing their outcomes with those in concordant symmetric twins. Growth was termed asymmetric on the basis of a head circumference/abdominal circumference ratio at > or =95th percentile on ultrasonography performed < or =4 weeks before delivery. RESULTS: We evaluated 572 twin pairs. Asymmetric discordant twins were more likely than symmetric concordant twins to be delivered at < or =34 weeks' gestation (57% vs. 27%), to require intubation (36% vs. 7%), to remain in intensive care >1 week (36% vs 3%), and to have an outcome composite that included respiratory morbidity, intraventricular hemorrhage, sepsis, or neonatal death (29% vs 6%), all P<.05. Symmetric discordant and symmetric concordant twins had similar outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Discordant twins with head-to-abdominal circumference asymmetry have an increased risk of morbidity. Moreover, in the absence of asymmetry, outcomes are comparable among discordant and concordant twins.

    Title Vaginal Fetal Fibronectin Measurements from 8 to 22 Weeks' Gestation and Subsequent Spontaneous Preterm Birth.
    Date September 2000
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the range of fetal fibronectin values in the vagina from 8 to 22 weeks' gestation, the factors associated with both low and high values, and whether high values are associated with gestational age at birth. STUDY DESIGN: Vaginal fetal fibronectin was quantitatively determined in a prospective cohort study of 13,360 women being evaluated for participation in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal-Fetal Medicine Unit treatment trials for bacterial vaginosis and Trichomonas vaginalis. Fetal fibronectin values were correlated with gestational age at screening, race, the presence of bacterial vaginosis and Trichomonas vaginalis, and gestational age at delivery. RESULTS: Vaginal fetal fibronectin values at each gestational age ranged from unmeasurable to >1000 ng/mL, with median values always being <10 ng/mL. Fetal fibronectin values declined progressively with increasing gestational age at sampling. Bacterial vaginosis and black race were associated with higher values, whereas nulliparity was associated with lower values. High values after 13 weeks' gestation were associated with a 2- to 3-fold increased risk of subsequent spontaneous preterm birth overall and a 4-fold increased risk of very early preterm birth. CONCLUSION: Elevated vaginal fetal fibronectin levels from 13 to 22 weeks' gestation are associated with a significantly increased risk of spontaneous preterm birth.

    Title Effects of Symmetric and Asymmetric Fetal Growth on Pregnancy Outcomes.
    Date September 2000
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of head circumference to abdomen circumference (HC/AC) asymmetry among small for gestational age (SGA) fetuses, and to determine the likelihood of adverse outcomes among asymmetric and symmetric SGA infants compared with their appropriate for gestational age (AGA) counterparts. METHODS: In a retrospective cohort study, we analyzed consecutive live-born singletons of women who had antepartum sonography within 4 weeks of delivery and delivered between January 1, 1989 and September 30, 1996. A gestational age-specific HC/AC nomogram was derived from our sonographic database of 33,740 nonanomalous live-born singletons. Asymmetric HC/AC was defined as greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for gestational age. RESULTS: Among 1364 SGA infants, 20% had asymmetric HC/AC and 80% were symmetric. Asymmetric SGA infants were more likely to have major anomalies than symmetric SGA infants or AGA infants (14% versus 4% versus 3%, respectively; P <.001). After exclusion of anomalous infants, pregnancy-induced hypertension at or before 32 weeks' gestation and cesarean delivery for nonreassuring fetal heart rate were more common in the asymmetric SGA than the AGA group (7% versus 1% and 15% versus 3%, respectively; both P <.001). A neonatal outcome composite, including one or more of respiratory distress, intraventricular hemorrhage, sepsis, or neonatal death, was more frequent among asymmetric SGA than AGA infants (14% versus 5%, P =.001). Symmetric SGA infants were not at increased risk of morbidity compared with AGA infants. CONCLUSION: The minority of SGA fetuses with HC/AC asymmetry are at increased risk for intrapartum and neonatal complications.

    Title Forty Weeks and Beyond: Pregnancy Outcomes by Week of Gestation.
    Date August 2000
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To assess pregnancy outcomes at 40, 41, and 42 weeks' gestation when labor induction is done routinely at 42 but not 41 weeks. METHODS: We reviewed all singleton pregnancies delivered at 40 or more weeks' gestation between 1988 and 1998 at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Texas. We excluded women with hypertension, prior cesarean, diabetes, malformations, breech presentation, and placenta previa. Labor characteristics and neonatal outcomes of pregnancies at 41 and 42 weeks' gestation were compared with pregnancies that ended at 40 weeks. Women with certain dating criteria had induction of labor at 42 weeks. Gestational age was calculated from the last menstrual period (LMP), sonography when available, and clinical examination. If the fundal height between 18 and 30 weeks was within 2 cm of gestational age, the reported LMP was accepted as correct. Sonogram was used to calculate gestational age if a discrepancy was identified. Statistical analysis consisted of chi(2) and analysis of variance. RESULTS: We studied 56,317 pregnancies: 29,136 at 40 weeks, 16,386 at 41 weeks, and 10,795 at 42 weeks. Labor complications increased from 40 to 42 weeks, including oxytocin induction (2% versus 35%, P <.001), length of labor (5.5 +/- 4.9 versus 8.8 +/- 6. 5 hours, P <.001), prolonged second stage of labor (2% versus 4%, P <.001), forceps use (6% versus 9%, P <.001), and cesarean delivery (7% versus 14%, P <.001). Neonatal outcomes were similar in the three groups, including 5-minute Apgar score less than 4, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), umbilical artery pH less than 7, seizures, and perinatal mortality. Sepsis was more frequent in the 42-week group than the other groups (0.1 versus 0.3%, P =. 001), as was admission to the NICU (0.4 versus 0.6%, P =.008). CONCLUSION: Routine labor induction at 41 weeks likely increases labor complications and operative delivery without significantly improving neonatal outcomes.

    Title Correlation Between Amniotic Fluid Glucose Concentration and Amniotic Fluid Volume in Pregnancy Complicated by Diabetes.
    Date May 2000
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Pregnancies complicated by diabetes are frequently characterized by an increased volume of amniotic fluid, and the pathophysiologic mechanism of this increase is not known. Our goal was to evaluate the relationship between amniotic fluid glucose concentration and the amniotic fluid index in pregnancies complicated by insulin-treated diabetes and to compare it with that seen in normal pregnancies. STUDY DESIGN: Amniotic fluid index and amniotic fluid glucose levels were measured before elective repeated cesarean delivery in 41 women with insulin-treated diabetes and in 35 women without diabetes. Only singleton gestations without anomalous fetuses were included. Women with diabetes were hospitalized for approximately 4 weeks before delivery, during which time glycemic control was optimized. Amniotic fluid index and amniotic fluid glucose concentration were correlated with each other and were compared between the groups with and without diabetes. RESULTS: The mean amniotic fluid index was significantly increased in the diabetes group (16.6 +/- 5.0 cm in the diabetes group vs 13.4 +/- 3.5 cm in the control group; P =.002). The amniotic fluid glucose concentration was also significantly greater in the diabetes group than in the control group (39 +/- 17 mg/dL in the diabetes group vs 24 +/- 11 mg/dL in the control group; P <.001). Among women with diabetes the amniotic fluid glucose concentration was significantly correlated with the amniotic fluid index (r = 0.32; P =.04), a correlation not found among the control women. The mean fasting blood glucose concentration among the women with diabetes for the week before amniocentesis was 82 +/- 11 mg/dL. CONCLUSION: The amniotic fluid index parallels the amniotic fluid glucose level among women with diabetes. This finding raises the possibility that the hydramnios associated with diabetes is a result of increased amniotic fluid glucose concentration.

    Title Pregnancy Outcomes After Antepartum Diagnosis of Oligohydramnios at or Beyond 34 Weeks' Gestation.
    Date May 2000
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to assess whether antepartum oligohydramnios is associated with adverse perinatal outcomes. STUDY DESIGN: Women delivered between July 1, 1991, and September 30, 1996, who underwent ultrasonography at >/=34 weeks' gestation were analyzed. Oligohydramnios was defined as an amniotic fluid index </=50 mm. Perinatal outcomes in pregnancies with oligohydramnios were compared with those with an amniotic fluid index of >50 mm. RESULTS: In our analysis of 6423 pregnancies, 147 (2.3%) were complicated by oligohydramnios. This complication was associated with increased labor induction (42% vs 18%; P <.001), stillbirth (1. 4% vs 0.3%; P <.03), nonreassuring fetal heart rate (48% vs 39%; P <. 03), admission to the neonatal intensive care nursery (7% vs 2%; P <. 001), meconium aspiration syndrome (1% vs 0.1%; P <.001), and neonatal death (5% vs 0.3%; P <.001). CONCLUSION: Antepartum oligohydramnios is associated with increased perinatal morbidity and mortality.

    Title Reducing Neonatal Group B Streptococcal Disease.
    Date May 2000
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Title Metronidazole to Prevent Preterm Delivery in Pregnant Women with Asymptomatic Bacterial Vaginosis. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Network of Maternal-fetal Medicine Units.
    Date February 2000
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Bacterial vaginosis has been associated with preterm birth. In clinical trials, the treatment of bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women who previously had a preterm delivery reduced the risk of recurrence. METHODS: To determine whether treating women in a general obstetrical population who have asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis (as diagnosed on the basis of vaginal Gram's staining and pH) prevents preterm delivery, we randomly assigned 1953 women who were 16 to less than 24 weeks pregnant to receive two 2-g doses of metronidazole or placebo. The diagnostic studies were repeated and a second treatment was administered to all the women at 24 to less than 30 weeks' gestation. The primary outcome was the rate of delivery before 37 weeks' gestation. RESULTS: Bacterial vaginosis resolved in 657 of 845 women who had follow-up Gram's staining in the metronidazole group (77.8 percent) and 321 of 859 women in the placebo group (37.4 percent). Data on the time and characteristics of delivery were available for 953 women in the metronidazole group and 966 in the placebo group. Preterm delivery occurred in 116 women in the metronidazole group (12.2 percent) and 121 women in the placebo group (12.5 percent) (relative risk, 1.0; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.8 to 1.2). Treatment did not prevent preterm deliveries that resulted from spontaneous labor (5.1 percent in the metronidazole group vs. 5.7 percent in the placebo group) or spontaneous rupture of the membranes (4.2 percent vs. 3.7 percent), nor did it prevent delivery before 32 weeks (2.3 percent vs. 2.7 percent). Treatment with metronidazole did not reduce the occurrence of preterm labor, intraamniotic or postpartum infections, neonatal sepsis, or admission of the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit. CONCLUSIONS: The treatment of asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women does not reduce the occurrence of preterm delivery or other adverse perinatal outcomes.

    Title Outcome of Twin Pregnancies According to Intrapair Birth Weight Differences.
    Date December 1999
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the clinical significance of twin intrapair birth weight differences. METHODS: This was a retrospective study of twin pregnancy outcomes. Intrapair birth weight differences were stratified into the following six groups: 14% or less, 15-20%, 21-25%, 26-30%, 31-40%, and 41% or more using the larger infant as the growth standard. Statistical analysis was done using the Mantel-Haenzel chi2 test. RESULTS: We studied 1370 consecutive women who delivered at Parkland Hospital, Dallas, Texas, between January 1, 1988, and December 31, 1996, and had twin gestations and live births or fetal deaths within 7 days of delivery. Greater birth weight discordance was significantly associated with preterm delivery due to intervention (P<.001). Noncephalic-cephalic presentations and cesarean delivery were also associated with greater discordance (P = .001 and .02, respectively). Neonatal morbidities, including low birth weight, intensive care admission, and respiratory distress, were all associated with higher birth weight discordance. Fetal abnormalities were more common with increased discordance (P<.001). Greater birth weight discordance was also associated with intrauterine fetal death. There were no differences in outcome for the smaller compared with the larger twin of the twin pair. CONCLUSION: Twin birth weight discordance is problematic because severe divergent fetal growth increases the risk of fetal death and leads to obstetric intervention and consequent neonatal morbidity due to prematurity.

    Title Chorioamnionitis and the Prognosis for Term Infants.
    Date August 1999
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of clinical chorioamnionitis and labor complications on short-term neonatal morbidity, including seizures. METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of all live-born term infants who weighed more than 2500 g delivered between 1988 and 1997 at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Texas. Infant outcomes were compared between women with and without clinical diagnoses of chorioamnionitis. Chorioamnionitis was based on maternal fever of 38C or greater with supporting clinical evidence including fetal tachycardia, uterine tenderness, and malodorous infant. RESULTS: A total of 101,170 term infants were analyzed, 5144 (5%) of whom were born to women with chorioamnionitis. Apgar scores of 3 or less at 5 minutes, umbilical artery pH of 7.0 or less, delivery-room intubation, sepsis, pneumonia, seizures in the first 24 hours, and meconium aspiration syndrome were all increased in infants exposed to chorioamnionitis. After adjustment for confounding factors, including route of delivery and length of labor, chorioamnionitis remained significantly associated with intubation in the delivery room (odds ratio [OR] 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5, 2.6), pneumonia (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.7, 2.8), and sepsis (OR 2.9; 95% CI 2.1, 4.1). Short-term neurologic morbidity, manifest as seizures, was not related to maternal infection during labor, but was significantly related to other labor complications. CONCLUSION: The main short-term neonatal consequence of chorioamnionitis is infection. Short-term neurologic morbidity in infants is related to labor complications and not chorioamnionitis per se.

    Title Fetal Pulse Oximetry: Duration of Desaturation and Intrapartum Outcome.
    Date July 1999
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To analyze labor outcomes in relation to masked fetal arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation values above or below 30%. METHODS: Consenting gravidas with uncomplicated pregnancies at or beyond 36 weeks' gestation underwent continuous fetal pulse oximetry. Pregnancy outcomes were compared between two groups: women with fetuses with at least one epoch of arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation below 30% (10 seconds or longer) and women with fetuses without such an episode. We also attempted to ascertain whether duration of saturation below 30% correlated with fetal compromise. RESULTS: We measured arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation in 129 fetuses, 69 (53%) of whom had at least one epoch of saturation below 30%. There were no statistically significant differences in labor and delivery outcomes between the high-saturation and low-saturation groups (eg, cesarean delivery: 13 versus 9%, P = .41; umbilical artery [UA] pH less than 7.20: 10 versus 9%, P > .999). However, as duration of fetal arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation below 30% increased from 10 seconds to longer than 9 consecutive minutes, the incidence of fetal compromise (considered present when at least one of the following criteria was met: cesarean delivery for nonreassuring fetal heart rate pattern, UA pH less than 7.20, admission to the special care nursery, or 5-minute Apgar score not more than 3) increased significantly (P = .002). The threshold duration of fetal arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation below 30% associated with increased fetal compromise was 2 minutes. CONCLUSION: Transient fetal arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation values below 30% are common during normal labor and did not predict fetal compromise. Fetal arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation values less than 30% for 2 minutes or longer might be associated with fetal compromise.

    Title Severe Preeclampsia and the Very Low Birth Weight Infant: is Induction of Labor Harmful?
    Date May 1999
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To compare the effects of labor induction with the effects of cesarean delivery without labor on neonatal outcome in pregnancies complicated by severe preeclampsia and delivery of very low birth weight infants. METHODS: This was a retrospective study of 278 singleton, live-born infants who weighed 750-1500 g and were delivered because of severe preeclampsia between 1988 and 1997. Outcomes of infants delivered by cesarean without labor were compared with those of infants exposed to labor induction. Statistical analysis was performed using Student t test, Mann-Whitney U test, chi2 analysis, and Fisher exact test, where appropriate. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to adjust for outcomes of interest. RESULTS: One hundred forty-five (52%) of the 278 women with severe preeclampsia who delivered infants weighing between 750 and 1500 g had labor induced and 133 (48%) delivered by cesarean without labor. Vaginal delivery was accomplished by 50 (34%) women in the induced group. Apgar scores of 3 or less at 5 minutes were more likely in the induced-labor group (6 versus 2%, P = .04), but other neonatal outcomes, including respiratory distress syndrome, grade 3 or 4 intraventricular hemorrhage, sepsis, seizures, and neonatal death, were similar in the two groups. Adjustment for birth weight and gestational age did not affect those results. Analysis of data from the induced-labor group did not reveal an effect by route of delivery on neonatal outcome. CONCLUSION: Induction of labor in cases of severe preeclampsia is not harmful to very low birth weight infants.

    Title Pitfalls in Ultrasonic Cervical Length Measurement for Predicting Preterm Birth.
    Date May 1999
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To describe the anatomic and technical difficulties encountered with transvaginal ultrasound imaging of the cervix in a consecutive series of women at risk for preterm delivery. METHODS: Three groups of women had cervical ultrasound examinations: those with histories of preterm birth, those with incompetent cervices, and those admitted for preterm labor that did not progress. Standardized ultrasound examinations of the cervix involved measuring the length of the endocervical canal, funneling length, and internal os dilation with and without fundal pressure. RESULTS: Sixty consecutive women had transvaginal ultrasound examinations for assessment of the cervix. Forty-six had histories of preterm birth, five had incompetent cervices, and nine had arrested preterm labor. Six types of problems arose, which can be divided into anatomic or technical considerations, with an overall frequency of 27% (95% confidence interval 16%, 40%). Anatomic pitfalls that hampered identification of the internal os included an undeveloped lower uterine segment (n = 5), a focal myometrial contraction (n = 1), rapid and spontaneous cervical change (n = 1), and an endocervical polyp (n = 1). Technical pitfalls included incorrect interpretation of internal os dilation because of vaginal probe orientation (n = 7) and artificial lengthening of the endocervical canal because of distortion of the cervix by the transducer (n = 1). CONCLUSION: We caution those who perform cervical length examinations to be wary of falsely reassuring findings due to potential anatomic and technical pitfalls.

    Title Epidural Analgesia During Labor and Maternal Fever.
    Date May 1999
    Journal Anesthesiology
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: In recent observational studies, epidural analgesia during labor at patient request has been associated with maternal fever. The authors report a secondary analysis of fever in women who were randomized to receive either epidural or patient-controlled intravenous analgesia during labor. METHODS: Maternal tympanic temperature was measured during spontaneous labor in 715 women at term who were randomized to either epidural analgesia with bupivacaine and fentanyl or to patient-controlled intravenous analgesia with meperidine. Intent-to-treat analysis of women with fever (temperature > or = 38.0 degrees C) versus those without was performed using Student t test and Fisher exact test to determine statistical significance (P < 0.05). RESULTS: Epidural analgesia was associated with maternal fever (odds ratio = 4.0; 95% confidence interval = 2.0-7.7), as was nulliparity (odds ratio = 4.1; 95% confidence interval = 1.8-9.1) and labor longer than 12 h (odds ratio = 5.4; 95% confidence interval = 2.9-9.9). These factors were all independent variables for maternal fever when analyzed using logistic regression. CONCLUSIONS: Epidural analgesia is associated with maternal fever. However, nulliparity and dysfunctional labor are also significant cofactors in the fever attributed to epidural analgesia.

    Title Atherosis Revisited: Current Concepts on the Pathophysiology of Implantation Site Disorders.
    Date April 1999
    Journal Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey
    Excerpt

    There are two distinct histological manifestations of impaired placental implantation in humans--incomplete trophoblastic vascular invasion and atherosis. Both have been described to occur in pregnancies affected by a variety of disorders such as preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction, systemic lupus erythematosus, and diabetes. Our purpose was to integrate recent developments in the understanding of implantation site disorders into a pathophysiological scenario that interrelates these placentation disorders and associated pregnancy complications. Sources were identified from a MEDLINE search of English-language articles published from 1966 to 1997. Additional sources were identified from references cited in relevant reports. We selected articles relating to the following topics: atherosis, implantation site disorders, trophoblastic invasion, preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction, implantation site development, atherosclerosis, and endothelial activation-damage. A contemporary version of normal placentation, including vascular adaptation, was reviewed with comments on normal trophoblastic differentiation and vascular invasion. Specific abnormalities of the implantation site, including atherosis and incomplete trophoblastic invasion, were discussed in the context of placental site hypoperfusion and the association with pregnancy complications. It was concluded that atherosis and incomplete trophoblastic invasion may be both a consequence and a cause of placental site hypoperfusion resulting in the development of preeclampsia and a variety of other pregnancy disorders.

    Title Birth Weight in Relation to Morbidity and Mortality Among Newborn Infants.
    Date April 1999
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: At any given gestational age, infants with low birth weight have relatively high morbidity and mortality. It is not known, however, whether there is a threshold weight below which morbidity and mortality are significantly greater, or whether that threshold varies with gestational age. METHODS: We analyzed the neonatal outcomes of death, five-minute Apgar score, umbilical-artery blood pH, and morbidity due to prematurity for all singleton infants delivered at Parkland Hospital, Dallas, between January 1, 1988, and August 31, 1996. A distribution of birth weights according to week of gestation at birth was created. Infants in the 26th through 75th percentiles for weight served as the reference group. Data on preterm infants (those born at 24 to 36 weeks of gestation) were analyzed separately from data on infants delivered at term (37 or more weeks of gestation). RESULTS: A total of 122,754 women and adolescents delivered singleton live infants without malformations between 24 and 43 weeks of gestation. Among the 12,317 preterm infants who were analyzed, there was no specific birth-weight percentile at which morbidity and mortality increased. Among 82,361 infants who were born at term and whose birth weights were at or below the 75th percentile, however, the rate of neonatal death increased from 0.03 percent in the reference group (26th through 75th percentile for weight) to 0.3 percent for those with birth weights at or below the 3rd percentile (P<0.001). The incidence of five-minute Apgar scores of 3 or less and umbilical-artery blood pH values of 7.0 or less was approximately doubled for infants at or below the 3rd birth-weight percentile (P=0.003 and P<0.001, respectively). The incidence of intubation at birth, seizures during the first day of life, and sepsis was also significantly increased among term infants with birth weights at or below the 3rd percentile. These differences persisted after adjustment for the mother's race and parity and the infant's sex. CONCLUSIONS: Mortality and morbidity are increased among infants born at term whose birth weights are at or below the 3rd percentile for their gestational age.

    Title Epidural Analgesia and Intrapartum Fever: Placental Findings.
    Date April 1999
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To assess whether epidural analgesia is associated with fever, independent of maternal infection, by evaluating the relationship between epidural analgesia and inflammation of the placenta. METHODS: Placentas collected prospectively from women with singleton gestations, who delivered 6 hours or more after membrane rupture, were evaluated systematically for histologic inflammation by an investigator blinded to all clinical information. Maternal and neonatal markers of infection were assessed in the cohorts who did and did not receive epidural analgesia. RESULTS: One hundred forty-nine consecutive placentas were analyzed, and 80 (54%) of these women received epidural analgesia. On univariate analysis, significant differences between epidural and no epidural groups were found with respect to maternal fever 38C or greater (46% versus 26%, P = .01), placenta inflammation (61% versus 36%, P = .002), and length of labor (11.8 hours versus 9.6 hours, P = .03). The combination of maternal fever plus placental inflammation was significantly more common in the epidural group (35% versus 17% P = .02). However, maternal fever in the absence of supporting evidence of infection, in the form of placental inflammation, was not increased after epidural analgesia (11% versus 9%, P = .61). CONCLUSION: Epidural analgesia is associated with intrapartum fever, but only in the presence of placental inflammation. This suggests that the fever reported with epidural analgesia is due to infection rather than the analgesia itself.

    Title A Randomized Study of Combined Spinal-epidural Analgesia Versus Intravenous Meperidine During Labor: Impact on Cesarean Delivery Rate.
    Date December 1998
    Journal Anesthesiology
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Combined spinal-epidural (CSE) analgesia produces rapid-onset pain relief and allows ambulation in early labor. Epidural local anesthetics may contribute to an increase in operative deliveries by decreasing perineal sensation and causing motor weakness. Operative delivery rates might be reduced with CSE, by avoiding or delaying administration of local anesthetics. This study compares the operative delivery rates associated with a CSE technique and those associated with intravenous meperidine for labor analgesia. METHODS: Healthy parturients at full term were assigned randomly to receive CSE or intravenous meperidine analgesia. The CSE group received 10 microg intrathecal sufentanil, followed by epidural bupivacaine and fentanyl at their next request for analgesia. Parturients receiving intravenous meperidine had 50 mg on demand (maximum, 200 mg in 4 h). Labor and delivery outcomes in both groups were recorded and compared. RESULTS: An intent-to-treat analysis of 1,223 women indicated that CSE does not increase the rate of cesarean delivery for dystocia in nulliparous and parous women (CSE, 3.5% vs. intravenous meperidine, 4; P=not significant) or in nulliparous women alone (CSE, 7% vs. intravenous meperidine, 8%; P=not significant). Profound fetal bradycardia that necessitated emergency cesarean delivery within 1 h of the time the mother received sufentanil occurred in 8 of 400 parturients (compared with 0 of 352 who received meperidine; P < 0.01). However, the method of fetal monitoring differed between the two groups. Despite this, neonatal outcomes were similar overall. CONCLUSIONS: Combined spinal-epidural analgesia during labor does not increase the cesarean delivery rate for dystocia in healthy parturient patients at full term, regardless of parity. However, an unexpected increase in the number of cesarean deliveries for profound fetal bradycardia after intrathecal sufentanil was observed. Further investigation is warranted.

    Title Lack of Effect of Walking on Labor and Delivery.
    Date July 1998
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Walking during labor may reduce patients' discomfort and improve outcomes. We conducted a randomized trial of walking during active labor to determine whether it altered the duration of labor or other maternal or fetal outcomes. Women with uncomplicated pregnancies between 36 and 41 weeks' gestation and in active labor were randomly assigned either to walking or to no walking (usual care). Pedometers were used to quantify walking, and the time spent walking was recorded. RESULTS: Of the 536 women assigned to the walking group, 380 actually walked. Their mean (+/-SD) walking time was 56+/-46 minutes. There were no significant differences between the women assigned to the walking group and the 531 women assigned to the usual-care group in the duration of the first stage of labor (6.1 hours in both groups, P=0.83), the need for labor augmentation with oxytocin (23 percent vs. 26 percent, P=0.25), and the use of analgesia (84 percent vs. 86 percent, P=0.59). Similarly, the percentages of women requiring delivery by forceps (4 percent vs. 3 percent, P=0.35) and cesarean section (4 percent vs. 6 percent, P=0.25) were not significantly different. These labor and delivery outcomes were unrelated to walking in both nulliparous and parous women. The infants' outcomes were also similar in the two study groups. CONCLUSIONS: Walking neither enhanced nor impaired active labor and was not harmful to the mothers or their infants.

    Title Does Magnesium Sulfate Given for Prevention of Eclampsia Affect the Outcome of Labor?
    Date May 1998
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether magnesium sulfate given for prevention of eclampsia affected labor outcomes compared with phenytoin, which is not known to impede uterine activity when given in anticonvulsant doses. STUDY DESIGN: Secondary analysis was performed of a study of women with pregnancy-induced hypertension who were admitted for delivery and randomly assigned to receive either magnesium sulfate or phenytoin for eclampsia prophylaxis. Nulliparous women with a singleton pregnancy in cephalic presentation at term were selected for analysis in an effort to limit the influence of confounding variables such as preterm birth and malpresentations on labor management and outcomes. Similarly, women who had severe preeclampsia and who received labor epidural analgesia were excluded. RESULTS: A total of 2138 women were randomized to receive magnesium sulfate or phenytoin in the primary study. A total of 905 nulliparous women met the inclusion criteria for this secondary analysis; 480 had been randomized to phenytoin and 425 were given magnesium sulfate. The two groups were similar demographically. Labor outcomes such as (1) oxytocin stimulation, (2) admission-to-delivery intervals, (3) prolonged second-stage labor, (4) forceps delivery, and (5) cesarean delivery were not affected by maternal treatment with magnesium sulfate. CONCLUSION: Compared with phenytoin, magnesium sulfate given for intrapartum treatment of pregnancy-induced hypertension does not significantly affect labor outcomes.

    Title Clinical Chorioamnionitis and the Prognosis for Very Low Birth Weight Infants.
    Date May 1998
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of clinical chorioamnionitis on neonatal morbidity and mortality in very low birth weight infants. METHODS: This was an observational cohort analysis of all singleton live-born infants weighing 500-1500 g at 24 weeks' or greater gestational age and born between 1988 and 1996 at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Texas. Chorioamnionitis was diagnosed on the basis of maternal fever of 38C with supporting clinical evidence, which included fetal tachycardia, uterine tenderness, and/or malodorous infant, and the absence of another source of infection. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to adjust for outcomes of interest. RESULTS: Ninety-five of 1367 very low birth weight infants (7%) were exposed to chorioamnionitis. Neonatal sepsis, respiratory distress syndrome, seizure in the first 24 hours of life, intraventricular hemorrhage (grade 3 or 4), and periventricular leukomalacia were all significantly increased with chorioamnionitis, after adjusting for preterm ruptured membranes, pregnancy-associated hypertension, cesarean birth, gestational age, and birth weight. The odds ratios for intraventricular hemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia, and seizures in the first 24 hours were 2.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6, 4.8), 3.4 (95% CI 1.6, 7.3), and 2.9 (95% CI 1.2, 6.8), respectively. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest a link between clinical chorioamnionitis and several indices of neonatal morbidity in the very low birth weight infant. Chorioamnionitis appears to make the very low birth weight infant particularly vulnerable to neurologic damage.

    Title The Course of Labor with and Without Epidural Analgesia.
    Date April 1998
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to measure effects of epidural analgesia on labor compared with boluses of meperidine in a cohort of women with similar clinical circumstances. STUDY DESIGN: One hundred ninety-nine nulliparous women who were delivered spontaneously at term and who received oxytocin for labor augmentation before the initiation of analgesia were identified for analysis. All these women were managed in a low-risk labor unit according to a standardized protocol. This management protocol encouraged early amniotomy and the use of oxytocin when ineffective labor was diagnosed. RESULTS: The demographic characteristics of the two study groups were similar with respect to age, height, weight, and maternal age. The two groups had the same cervical dilatation on admission (3.3 cm) and at the time of analgesia administration (4.1 vs 4.2 cm), indicating similar progress of labor before oxytocin administration. The length of the active phase of labor was longer in the epidural group (7.9 vs 6.3 hours, p = 0.005), as was the second stage (60 vs 48 minutes, p = 0.03). The mean and maximal rates of oxytocin infusion were similar between the two study groups; however, the amount of oxytocin required for each centimeter of cervical change was more in the epidural group (22 vs 16 mU per cm of cervical change, p = 0.009). Neonatal outcomes were unaffected by the type of labor analgesia. CONCLUSION: Epidural analgesia decreases uterine performance during oxytocin-stimulated labor, resulting in an increase in the length of the first and second stages of labor.

    Title Tocolytic Magnesium Sulphate and Paediatric Mortality.
    Date February 1998
    Journal Lancet
    Title Pregnancy Outcomes in Women with Gestational Diabetes Compared with the General Obstetric Population.
    Date December 1997
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To compare pregnancy outcome in a homogeneous group of women with glucose intolerance with that of women without this disorder. METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of all women with singleton cephalic-presenting pregnancies delivered at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center during the period January 1, 1991, through December 31, 1995. During this period, women were screened selectively for glucose intolerance and National Diabetes Data Group thresholds were used to diagnose gestational diabetes. Women with class A1 gestational diabetes were compared with nondiabetic women within the cohort. Effects of confounding variables were analyzed using multiple logistic regression and a matched-control comparison. Controls were matched according to ethnicity, maternal age, maternal weight, and parity. RESULTS: A total of 61,209 nondiabetic women with singleton cephalic pregnancies were delivered during the study period, and 874 were diagnosed with class A1 gestational diabetes. Women with class A1 gestational diabetes were significantly older, heavier, of greater parity, and more often of Hispanic ethnicity. Hypertension (17 versus 12%), cesarean delivery (30 versus 17%), and shoulder dystocia (3 versus 1%) were significantly increased (all P < .001) in these women compared with the general obstetric population. Infants born to women with class A1 gestational diabetes were significantly larger (mean birth weight 3581 +/- 616 versus 3290 +/- 546 g, P < .001), and this accounted for the increased incidence of dystocia. The attributable risk for large for gestational age (LGA) infants due to class A1 gestational diabetes was 12%. CONCLUSION: The main consequence of class A1 gestational diabetes is excessive fetal size leading to increased risk of difficult labor and delivery. We estimate that approximately one of eight women with class A1 gestational diabetes mellitus delivers an LGA infant attributable to glucose intolerance.

    Title Cesarean Delivery: a Randomized Trial of Epidural Versus Patient-controlled Meperidine Analgesia During Labor.
    Date October 1997
    Journal Anesthesiology
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Reports indicate that the administration of epidural analgesia for pain relief during labor interferes with labor and increases cesarean deliveries. However, only a few controlled trials have assessed the effect of epidural analgesia on the incidence of cesarean delivery. The authors' primary purpose in this randomized study was to evaluate the effects of epidural analgesia on the rate of cesarean deliveries by providing a suitable alternative: patient-controlled intravenous analgesia. METHODS: Seven hundred fifteen women of mixed parity in spontaneous labor at full term were randomly assigned to receive either epidural analgesia or patient-controlled intravenous meperidine analgesia. Epidural analgesia was maintained with a continuous epidural infusion of 0.125% bupivacaine with 2 microg/ml fentanyl. Patient-controlled analgesia was maintained with 10-15 mg meperidine given every 10 min as needed using a patient-controlled pump. Procedures recorded in a manual that prescribed the intrapartum management were followed for each woman randomized in the study. RESULTS: A total of 358 women were randomized to receive epidural analgesia, and 243 (68%) of these women complied with the epidural analgesia protocol. Similarly, 357 women were randomized to receive patient-controlled intravenous meperidine analgesia, and 259 (73%) of these women complied with the patient-controlled intravenous analgesia protocol. Only five women who were randomized and received patient-controlled intravenous meperidine analgesia according to the protocol crossed over to epidural analgesia due to inadequate pain relief. There was no difference in the rate of cesarean deliveries between the two analgesia groups using intention-to-treat analysis based on the original randomization (epidural analgesia, 4% [95% CI: 1.9-6.2%] compared with patient-controlled intravenous analgesia, 5% [95% CI: 2.6-7.2%]). Similar results were observed for the analysis of the protocol-compliant groups (epidural analgesia, 5% [95% CI: 2.6-8.5%] compared with patient-controlled intravenous analgesia, 6% [95% CI: 3-8.9%]). Women who received epidural analgesia reported lower pain scores during labor and delivery compared with women who received patient-controlled intravenous analgesia. CONCLUSIONS: Epidural analgesia was not associated with increased numbers of cesarean delivery when compared with a suitable alternative method of analgesia.

    Title Intraventricular Hemorrhage and Fetal Heart Rate in Very Low Birth Weight Infants.
    Date August 1997
    Journal Journal of Perinatology : Official Journal of the California Perinatal Association
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to investigate the relationship between fetal heart rate patterns before delivery and periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage in the very low birth weight infant. STUDY DESIGN: The last 30 minutes of electronic fetal heart rate data preceding delivery were analyzed for 84 singleton infants weighing between 700 and 1500 gm. All these infants received serial cranial ultrasonographic examinations commencing within 24 to 48 hours of birth. RESULTS: Thirty-three fetuses had normal heart rate patterns, and 51 had fetal heart rate abnormalities. Periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage was not associated with fetal heart rate abnormalities. Univariate and multivariate regression analysis demonstrated that only gestational age < 28 weeks was a significant contributing factor to periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage (odds ratio 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0 to 4.8). CONCLUSION: Fetal heart rate patterns immediately preceding delivery are not predictive of periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage in the very low birth weight infant.

    Title Randomized Investigation of Antimicrobials for the Prevention of Preterm Birth.
    Date March 1996
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: Occult amniotic fluid infection has emerged as a possible cause of many heretofore unexplained preterm births. We sought to determine whether antimicrobial therapy is effective in preventing preterm delivery. STUDY DESIGN: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial was conducted to study the efficacy of ampicillin-sulbactam and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid in women hospitalized for preterm labor between 24 and 34 weeks' gestation. During this investigation no tocolytics or steroids were used. RESULTS: Thirty-nine women with preterm labor received antimicrobial therapy and 39 received placebos. The mean gestational ages at study entry were 29.8 +/- 0.4 weeks (SEM) and 30.6 +/- 0.3 weeks in the antimicrobial and placebo groups, respectively (not significant). Similarly, the mean gestational ages at delivery were 34.2 +/- 0.7 and 34.1 +/- 0.6 weeks, respectively (not significant). Other index values of pregnancy outcome, for example, birth weight, neonatal morbidity, and prenatal death, were not significantly improved by antimicrobial therapy given to the mother in preterm labor. CONCLUSION: We find that antimicrobial therapy given to women in preterm labor is ineffective in the prevention of preterm birth.

    Title Amniotic Fluid Meconium: a Fetal Environmental Hazard.
    Date February 1996
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the hypothesis that meconium aspiration syndrome, the major hazard of meconium during labor, may be associated with superimposed fetal acute acidemia. METHODS: Umbilical artery blood gases were measured in 7816 term pregnancies with meconium in the amniotic fluid (AF) and the results were correlated with intrapartum and neonatal outcomes. RESULTS: Sixty-nine (1%) infants developed meconium aspiration syndrome and 31 (45%) of these were in association with fetal acidemia at birth. Moreover, umbilical blood gas analysis and intrapartum events suggested that the fetal acidemia linked to meconium aspiration was an acute event rather than a long-duration process, which might be expected if meconium was itself a marker of an antecedent fetal asphyxial event. CONCLUSION: Meconium in the AF may be a fetal environmental hazard when acidemia supervenes rather than solely a marker of preexisting fetal compromise leading to the release of meconium.

    Title The Pregnant Patient with an Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformation. Cesarean or Vaginal Delivery Using Regional or General Anesthesia?
    Date January 1996
    Journal Regional Anesthesia
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES. A parturient with large intracranial arteriovenous malformation presented for elective cesarean delivery. METHODS. The anesthetic technique included acute hydration with intravenous crystalloid followed by continuous epidural anesthesia with bupivacaine and fentanyl and oxygen by face mask. Intraoperative monitoring consisted of electrocardiography, pulse oximetry, invasive arterial blood pressure, and analysis of arterial blood gases. Postoperative analgesia in the immediate postoperative period was provided by a continuous epidural infusion of bupivacaine and fentanyl followed by intravenous patient-controlled analgesia using a mixture of morphine and droperidol. RESULTS. A cesarean delivery was successfully performed and both mother and infant were eventually discharged from the hospital in good condition. CONCLUSIONS. In this case report the choice of obstetric management (cesarean versus vaginal delivery) of a full-term parturient with an intracranial arteriovenous malformation is discussed, and the rationale for the preference of epidural anesthesia for the cesarean delivery is presented.

    Title Intentional Delivery Versus Expectant Management with Preterm Ruptured Membranes at 30-34 Weeks' Gestation.
    Date January 1996
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine maternal and neonatal outcomes in pregnancies complicated by preterm rupture of membranes (PROM) at 30-34 weeks' gestation. METHODS: A randomized controlled trial was conducted to study the benefits of expectant management in women hospitalized for PROM at 30-34 weeks' gestation. During this investigation, no tocolytics, corticosteroids, or prophylactic antibiotics were used. RESULTS: Sixty-eight women with PROM were managed expectantly and 61 were delivered intentionally. The mean gestational age at study entry was 31.7 weeks in both the expectant management and intentional delivery groups (P > .05). The mean gestational ages at delivery were similar (32.0 and 31.7 weeks, respectively). Other indices of pregnancy outcome (ie, birth weight, intraventricular hemorrhage, necrotizing enterocolitis, sepsis, respiratory distress syndrome, and perinatal death) were not significantly improved by expectant management. However, there was a significant increase in the incidence of chorioamnionitis and antepartum hospitalization in the women managed expectantly. CONCLUSION: There were no clinically significant neonatal advantages to expectant management of ruptured membranes at 30-34 weeks. Antepartum hospitalization was decreased by 2.5 days in those women randomized to intentional delivery.

    Title Obstetric Clavicular Fracture: the Enigma of Normal Birth.
    Date January 1996
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the main risk factors involved in neonatal clavicular fracture, the most common injury to the neonate. METHODS: Two hundred fifteen cases of clavicular fracture of 65,091 vaginal deliveries (0.4%) occurring between January 1983 and December 1988 were pair-matched with controls based on mode and date of delivery, race, and maternal age. Incidences, odds ratios, and stratified analysis were used to identify and control for confounding between risk factors. RESULTS: Shoulder dystocia, increasing birth weight, and increasing gestational age were identified as risk factors. Within the range of normal birth weights, there is a biologic gradient of increasing risk for clavicular fracture. Although shoulder dystocia is the strongest risk factor identified, the magnitude of its point estimate is probably affected to a large extent by differential ascertainment. The use of forceps, prolonged second stage of labor, and nulliparity status were not significantly associated with neonatal clavicular fracture. CONCLUSIONS: Neonatal clavicular fracture occurs commonly in an obstetric population. Obstetric clavicular fracture is an unpredictable, unavoidable complication of normal birth.

    Title Randomized Trial of Epidural Versus Intravenous Analgesia During Labor.
    Date November 1995
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To compare the effects of epidural analgesia with intravenous (IV) analgesia on the outcome of labor. METHODS: Thirteen hundred thirty women with uncomplicated term pregnancies and in spontaneous labor were randomized to be offered epidural bupivacaine-fentanyl or IV meperidine analgesia during labor. RESULTS: Comparison of the allocation groups by intent to treat revealed a significant association between epidural allocation and operative delivery for dystocia. However, only 65% of each randomization group accepted the allocated treatment. Four hundred thirty-seven women accepted and received meperidine as allocated, and they were compared with 432 women accepting epidural allocation. Significant associations resulted between epidural administration and prolongation of labor, increased rate of oxytocin administration, chorioamnionitis, low forceps, and cesarean delivery. Because of the high rate of noncompliance with treatment allocation, a multifactorial regression analysis was performed on the entire cohort, and a twofold relative risk of cesarean delivery persisted in association with epidural treatment. The impact of epidural treatment on cesarean delivery was significant for both nulliparous and parous women (risk ratios 2.55 and 3.81, respectively). Epidural analgesia provided significantly better pain relief in labor than did parenteral meperidine. CONCLUSION: Although labor epidural analgesia is superior to meperidine for pain relief, labor is prolonged, uterine infection is increased, and the number of operative deliveries are increased. A two- to fourfold increased risk of cesarean delivery is associated with epidural treatment in both nulliparous and parous women.

    Title Childbearing Among Older Women--the Message is Cautiously Optimistic.
    Date October 1995
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Title Randomized Comparison of General and Regional Anesthesia for Cesarean Delivery in Pregnancies Complicated by Severe Preeclampsia.
    Date August 1995
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the maternal and fetal effects of three anesthetic methods used randomly in women with severe preeclampsia who required cesarean delivery. METHODS: Eighty women with severe preeclampsia, who were to be delivered by cesarean, were randomized to general (26 women), epidural (27), or combined spinal-epidural (27) anesthesia. The mean preoperative blood pressure (BP) was approximately 170/110 mmHg, and all women had proteinuria. Anesthetic and obstetric management included antihypertensive drug therapy and limited intravenous (IV) fluid and drug therapy. RESULTS: The mean gestational age at delivery was 34.8 weeks. All infants were born in good condition as assessed by Apgar scores and umbilical arterial blood gas determinations. Maternal hypotension resulting from regional anesthesia was managed without excessive IV fluid administration. Similarly, maternal BP was managed without severe hypertensive effects in women undergoing general anesthesia. There were no serious maternal or fetal complications attributable to any of the three anesthetic methods. CONCLUSION: General as well as regional anesthetic methods are equally acceptable for cesarean delivery in pregnancies complicated by severe preeclampsia if steps are taken to ensure a careful approach to either method.

    Title A Comparison of Magnesium Sulfate with Phenytoin for the Prevention of Eclampsia.
    Date July 1995
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND. Magnesium sulfate is used widely to prevent eclamptic seizures in pregnant women with hypertension, but few studies have compared the efficacy of magnesium sulfate with that of other drugs. Anticonvulsant prophylaxis with phenytoin for eclampsia has been recommended, but there are virtually no data to support its efficacy. Our objective was to compare magnesium sulfate with phenytoin in preventing seizures in hypertensive women during labor. METHODS. We randomly assigned women with hypertension who were admitted for delivery to receive either magnesium sulfate or phenytoin. The magnesium sulfate regimen consisted of a 10-g intramuscular loading dose followed by a maintenance dose of 5 g given intramuscularly every four hours. For women with severe preeclampsia, an additional 4-g loading dose was given intravenously. The phenytoin regimen included a 1000-mg loading dose infused over a period of 1 hour, followed by a 500-mg oral dose 10 hours later. With either regimen, anticonvulsant therapy was continued for 24 hours post partum. RESULTS. Ten of 1089 women randomly assigned to the phenytoin regimen had eclamptic convulsions, as compared with none of 1049 women randomly assigned to magnesium sulfate (P = 0.004). There were no significant differences in any risk factors for eclampsia between the two study groups. Maternal and infant outcomes were also similar in the two study groups. CONCLUSIONS. Magnesium sulfate is superior to phenytoin for the prevention of eclampsia in hypertensive pregnant women. These results validate the long-practiced use of magnesium sulfate in the prevention of eclampsia.

    Title Genital Herpes During Pregnancy: No Lesions, No Cesarean.
    Date February 1995
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects at our hospital of adoption of the 1988 guidelines recommended by ACOG for management of genital herpes infections during pregnancy. METHODS: Between 1984-1986, 96 pregnancies complicated by active genital herpes were delivered at Parkland Hospital. The outcome of these pregnancies were compared with 217 similar pregnancies managed after implementation of the 1988 ACOG herpes guidelines. RESULTS: Adoption of the 1988 ACOG herpes guidelines resulted in a 37% decrease in the use of cesarean delivery for women with genital herpes infections at our hospital. Most of this decrease was because the new guidelines eliminated the need for a confirmatory negative herpes culture before permitting vaginal delivery. No neonatal herpes infections occurred as a result of implementing the ACOG recommendations. CONCLUSION: The rate of cesarean delivery for women with genital herpes infections during pregnancy declined significantly at our hospital as a result of the adoption of ACOG herpes guidelines, and there were no neonatal consequences, such as increased incidence of neonatal herpes simplex virus infection.

    Title Fetal Acidemia Associated with Regional Anesthesia for Elective Cesarean Delivery.
    Date January 1995
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence, magnitude, and type of fetal acidemia associated with contemporary obstetric anesthetic techniques. METHODS: Umbilical artery blood gases were obtained in 1601 singleton pregnancies delivered by elective cesarean. RESULTS: General anesthesia was used in 371 (23%) women, epidural in 286 (18%), combined spinal-epidural in 659 (41%), and spinal in 231 (14%). Approximately 18% of infants exposed to regional anesthetics had umbilical artery blood pH values 7.19 or less, 42 (3%) infants had pH values less than 7.10, and nine (1%) had values 6.99 or less. The incidence of fetal acidemia was greater in spinal and combined spinal-epidural procedures compared to epidural anesthetics. Fetal acidemia was predominantly respiratory in type because carbon dioxide pressure was abnormally increased when fetal acidemia was diagnosed. CONCLUSIONS: Regional anesthesia is associated with fetal acidemia, occasionally severe, and has features of an acute respiratory type of acidemia. Fetal acidemia is less frequent with epidural anesthesia compared to subarachnoid techniques.

    Title The Economic Advantages of Measured Change in Health Care: an Example from Obstetrics.
    Date November 1994
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To evaluate the economic effects of an increased oxytocin dosage for labor stimulation at a large urban hospital, a cost analysis of a before and after cohort, analytic clinical trial was performed. Delivery outcomes for two different oxytocin dosages were evaluated from the perspective of provider and consumer costs attributable to the oxytocin regimen. The high-dose oxytocin regimen resulted in an estimated provider and consumer cost savings of approximately $350,000 per year. We conclude that a small change in health care, such as an increased infusion rate of a single drug, can have economic advantages.

    Title Maternal Youth and Pregnancy Outcomes: Middle School Versus High School Age Groups Compared with Women Beyond the Teen Years.
    Date August 1994
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: We sought to measure and compare pregnancy complications in middle school versus high school versus older maternal age groups. STUDY DESIGN: From January 1988 through December 31, 1991, maternal and infant data from 16,512 consecutive nulliparous women were collected and electronically stored. These women were divided into three study groups: middle school (11 to 15 years old), high school (16 to 19 years old), and women 20 to 22 years old at delivery. Statistical analysis included logistic regression to control for potentially confounding demographic variables. RESULTS: Middle school-aged mothers were disproportionately black (50% vs 36% Hispanic vs 14% white), and very low birth weight (4% vs. 2%, p = 0.003) was increased in these youthful mothers. First births to high school-aged mothers were not found to be compromised compared with those of women 20 to 22 years old, and, indeed, cesarean birth was less frequent in these women compared with those > or = 20 years old. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the health hazard associated with school-age pregnancy is predominantly prematurity and is increased only in middle school-aged mothers. High school-aged mothers do not experience excess medical complications of pregnancy compared with older women. We suggest that middle school pregnancy, particularly for inner-city teenagers, should be a special focus for pregnancy prevention and intervention.

    Title A Simplified Phenytoin Regimen for Preeclampsia.
    Date July 1994
    Journal American Journal of Perinatology
    Excerpt

    The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of giving phenytoin to a group of mild preeclamptic women in a universal dosing scheme comparable to that typical of magnesium sulfate administration. Serum phenytoin levels were measured at regular intervals for 32 hours following a 1 g intravenous loading dose in 14 patients. A second group of 14 women received 500 mg orally to supplement the 1 g initial dose and had serum levels similarly measured. The resultant serum levels are described, and the effect of maternal weight analyzed. The average serum phenytoin level in the first 14 women given the 1 g loading dose fell to 10 micrograms/mL approximately 12 hours after treatment. Serum levels plateaued above this threshold in the 14 women given 500 mg of additional medication orally 10 hours after treatment initiation and were maintained for an additional 14 hours before decline was observed. The serum levels resulting from the initial 1 g loading dose were analyzed 8 hours after treatment initiation in the entire group of 28 women according to body weight, and a clinically significant effect of weight on serum level was observed only at the extremes of weight. We conclude that a universal dosing scheme comparable to that typically used for magnesium sulfate is feasible for phenytoin administration to preeclamptic women.

    Title Correlation of Measured Amniotic Fluid Volume and Sonographic Predictions of Oligohydramnios.
    Date June 1994
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To compare the measured volume of amniotic fluid (AF) in term gestations to the volume predicted sonographically. METHODS: One hour before elective cesarean delivery, 40 women had sonographic measurement of the AF index and largest vertical pocket diameter. At surgery, a suction catheter was placed into a 1-cm uterine incision and a second catheter was used to aspirate AF from the operative field. Hemoglobin concentration was measured in the collected AF to determine the extent of blood contamination. RESULTS: The mean measured AF volume was 532 mL (range 40-1692). The correlation coefficient between AF index and AF volume was 0.744 (P < .001). A similar value (r = 0.755, P < .001) was observed for the largest vertical pocket measured with ultrasound. CONCLUSION: Sonographic measurements of the largest vertical pocket and the AF index have similar positive correlations with measured AF volumes at term. Current methods of estimating AF volume have low sensitivity for detecting oligohydramnios.

    Title Meconium: a 1990s Perspective on an Old Obstetric Hazard.
    Date April 1994
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To quantify the current perinatal consequences associated with intrapartum detection of meconium in the amniotic fluid (AF). METHODS: We compared retrospectively the outcomes in 8136 term singleton cephalic pregnancies with meconium and 34,573 similar pregnancies with clear AF. RESULTS: Virtually all measures of adverse fetal-neonatal outcomes were significantly increased with meconium. For example, perinatal mortality increased from 0.3 per 1000 births with clear AF to 1.5 deaths per 1000 with meconium (P < .001). Most of these deaths resulted from meconium aspiration. Other unwanted outcomes also increased; eg, severe fetal acidemia at birth (umbilical artery blood pH 7.00 or less) increased from three per 1000 to seven per 1000 when meconium was diagnosed (P < .001). Delivery by cesarean also increased with meconium, from 7 to 14% (P < .001). CONCLUSION: Meconium in the AF is an obstetric hazard with small but significantly increased risks of adverse fetal-neonatal outcomes.

    Title High-dose Oxytocin: 20- Versus 40-minute Dosage Interval.
    Date February 1994
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine whether an increase in the oxytocin dosing interval would decrease the incidence of uterine hyperstimulation. METHODS: This study included 1801 consecutive pregnancies receiving high-dose oxytocin. Oxytocin was used for labor augmentation in 1167 and induction in 634 women. Twenty- and 40-minute dosage intervals were compared. The study period was based on an 80% likelihood of detecting 5 and 10% differences in the cesarean and hyperstimulation rates, respectively. Statistics were analyzed with chi 2, Fisher, and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests where appropriate. Multivariate logistic regression and analysis of covariance were used to control for confounding demographic variables. RESULTS: Comparison of the 20- and 40-minute regimens for labor induction yielded no differences in the rates of cesarean delivery for dystocia (16 versus 19%) or fetal distress (5 versus 6%). The 20-minute regimen for augmentation was associated with a significant reduction in cesarean for dystocia (8 versus 12%; P = .05). The incidence of uterine hyperstimulation was greater with the 20-minute than the 40-minute regimen for induction (40 versus 31%; P = .02), but not for augmentation (31 versus 28%). Neonatal outcomes were unaffected by the dosage interval for both augmentation and induction. CONCLUSION: A 40-minute dosing interval for high-dose oxytocin offers no clear advantage over a 20-minute interval. Both regimens were safe and efficient, with no differences in perinatal outcome. The 20-minute interval was associated with fewer cesareans for dystocia when used for labor augmentation, whereas the 40-minute interval resulted in less hyperstimulation when used for labor induction.

    Title The Return of Life-threatening Puerperal Sepsis Caused by Group A Streptococci.
    Date October 1993
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    A dramatic decline in the prevalence of serious puerperal infection caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococci has been observed throughout most of the twentieth century, and it is currently a very uncommon cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. We report on two term pregnancies complicated by profound multisystem organ failure caused by group A streptococcal puerperal sepsis. This report serves to highlight the apparent return of serious group A streptococcal puerperal sepsis and to emphasize the clinical implications and sequelae attributable to an old yet virulent enemy.

    Title Acid-base Significance of Meconium Discovered Prior to Labor.
    Date May 1993
    Journal American Journal of Perinatology
    Excerpt

    Although the significance of meconium in the amniotic fluid diagnosed during labor remains problematic, there is little information regarding the significance of meconium discovered prior to labor. The present study consisted of 40 term pregnancies with meconium found at amniocentesis for lung maturity (n = 7) or elective cesarean section (n = 33) and 40 uncomplicated, control pregnancies with clear amniotic fluid at elective cesarean section. The mean umbilical artery (UA) blood pH was 7.26 in the meconium group and 7.28 in the control group. Overall, the frequency of fetal acidemia (UA pH < 7.20) was 15% (6 of 40) of the infants in the meconium group versus 8% (3 of 40) in the control group (p = 0.24). All nine of these infants had a respiratory acidosis defined as a UA blood pH less than 7.20 with normal bicarbonate and elevated carbon dioxide pressure. Importantly, none of the neonates had metabolic acidemia and all had uncomplicated hospital courses. All of the pregnancies reported were promptly delivered because of meconium and we therefore cannot recommend nonintervention when meconium is diagnosed in the antepartum period. Meconium discovered prior to labor is not necessarily a marker of immediate or chronic fetal compromise.

    Title Antepartum Prediction of Pulmonary Hypoplasia: an Elusive Goal?
    Date April 1993
    Journal American Journal of Perinatology
    Excerpt

    Diagnosis of fetal pulmonary hypoplasia could be of great benefit to the obstetrician in the management of those pregnancies complicated by prolonged preterm ruptured membranes. Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging were employed for fetal diagnosis of pulmonary hypoplasia and we were unable to predict accurately those fetuses with pulmonary hypoplasia using two different published ultrasound formulas. Moreover, magnetic resonance imaging appears not to offer any advantages over sonographic evaluation in the diagnosis of fetal pulmonary hypoplasia.

    Title Birth Weight Threshold for Postponing Preterm Birth.
    Date November 1992
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The study was designed to determine the birth weight threshold at which obstetric efforts intended to delay delivery might potentially improve rates of neonatal morbidity and mortality among pregnancies delivered after spontaneous preterm labor or rupture of the membranes. STUDY DESIGN: We studied 1147 singleton infants with birth weights between 1000 and 2499 gm and whose only complication was spontaneous preterm labor or preterm rupture of the membranes. The Mantel-Haenszel chi 2 statistic was used to evaluate trends for neonatal mortality and several indexes of morbidity. RESULTS: The birth weight threshold for neonatal mortality was 1600 gm (p < 0.001). For neonatal morbidity the threshold was between 1600 and 1900 gm (p < 0.008). CONCLUSION: Aggressive obstetric attempts to prevent preterm birth for infants whose weights exceed 1900 gm offers few apparent potential benefits.

    Title Expectant Management of Preterm Ruptured Membranes: Effects of Antimicrobial Therapy.
    Date November 1992
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the addition of broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy to traditional expectant management improves pregnancy outcome in patients with premature rupture of membranes (PROM) remote from term. METHODS: Patients with preterm PROM before 34 weeks' gestation who were not in labor and had no signs of infection or fetal distress were randomized to one of two study groups: 1) expectant management alone and 2) expectant management plus antimicrobial therapy. Women in the latter group received intravenous ampicillin, gentamicin, and clindamycin for 24 hours, followed by amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid orally for 7 days. Other than antibiotic use, management of the two groups was identical. RESULTS: Significantly more women (P < .01) treated with antibiotics (20 of 48, 42%) remained undelivered 7 days after admission compared with those managed expectantly without antibiotics (seven of 46, 15%). In addition, more neonates in the group managed with antibiotics were admitted to the routine nursery (nine of 48 versus two of 45; P = .03). However, there was no difference between the groups in the frequency of serious maternal or neonatal morbidity. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy to traditional expectant management of pregnancy complicated by preterm PROM may increase the number of gestations undelivered 7 days after admission. It may also decrease the proportion of infants admitted to special care nurseries. Whether these effects result in significant short- or long-term maternal or neonatal benefit remains to be determined.

    Title Beta-adrenergic Agonists for Preterm Labor.
    Date August 1992
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Title High- Versus Low-dose Oxytocin for Labor Stimulation.
    Date July 1992
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    The number of cesarean births for dystocia has increased dramatically in the United States. Central to the management of dystocia is correction of ineffective labor by oxytocin administration, and contemporary obstetric practice is to stimulate labor with a low-dose oxytocin regimen. We prospectively compared a low-dose oxytocin regimen (1-mU/minute dosage increments) with a high-dose regimen (6-mU/minute dosage increments) in 2788 consecutive singleton cephalic pregnancies. The low-dose regimen was used first for 5 months in 1251 pregnancies, and the high-dose regimen in 1537 pregnancies during the subsequent 5 months. Indications for oxytocin stimulation were divided into augmentation (N = 1676) and induction (N = 1112). Labor stimulation was more than 3 hours shorter (P less than .0001) with the high-dose oxytocin regimen and associated with a reduction in neonatal sepsis (0.2 versus 1.3%; P less than .01). Uterine hyperstimulation was more common (55 versus 42%; P less than .0001) with the high-dose regimen, but no adverse fetal effects were observed. High-dose augmentation resulted in significantly fewer forceps deliveries (12 versus 16%; P = .03) and fewer cesareans for dystocia (9 versus 12%; P = .04). Similarly, failed induction was less frequent with high-dose compared with low-dose oxytocin (14 versus 19%; P = .05). Although the high-dose induction regimen was associated with a significantly increased cesarean incidence for fetal distress (6 versus 3%; P = .05), the incidence of umbilical artery cord blood acidemia was not increased in this subset. Induction of labor with high-dose oxytocin is problematic because of risk-benefit considerations. Although induction failed less frequently with the high-dose regimen, cesarean for fetal distress was performed more frequently. In contrast, high-dose oxytocin to augment ineffective spontaneous labor minimized the number of cesareans done for dystocia.

    Title Chorioamnionitis: a Harbinger of Dystocia.
    Date June 1992
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    The impact of chorioamnionitis on the course of labor is controversial. Some clinicians believe the infection has stimulatory effects, whereas others suspect inhibitory influences. Two hundred sixty-six pregnancies with chorioamnionitis requiring labor stimulation with oxytocin were matched to uninfected women for maternal age, race, parity, gestational age, oxytocin dosage regimen, indication for labor stimulation, type of labor stimulation, cervical dilatation at initiation of oxytocin, and time for rupture of membranes to initiation of labor stimulation. Chorioamnionitis diagnosed before oxytocin infusion was associated with shorter oxytocin initiation-to-delivery intervals (4.3 versus 5.6 hours; P = .04) and had no significant impact on the cesarean rate compared with matched controls. In contrast, pregnancies complicated by chorioamnionitis detected late in labor were associated with markedly longer oxytocin initiation-to-delivery intervals (12.6 versus 7.9 hours; P less than .0001) and a fourfold increase in cesarean for dystocia compared with matched controls (40 versus 10%; P less than .0001). Thus, the impact of chorioamnionitis on the course of labor can be divided into two clinical presentations. That diagnosed before labor stimulation does not increase the use of cesarean, whereas that diagnosed after oxytocin stimulation may be a sign of abnormal labor, as it was associated with a marked increase in abdominal delivery for dystocia.

    Title Factors Affecting the Dose Response to Oxytocin for Labor Stimulation.
    Date May 1992
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    For nearly 40 years synthetic oxytocin has been used for labor stimulation by titrating dosage rate to uterine contractions. We used a computerized data base to determine variables affecting the dose response to oxytocin in 1773 pregnancies. Statistically important predictors of required oxytocin dosage included cervical dilatation, parity, and gestational age. Maternal body surface area was found to be associated with a higher oxytocin dosage in women undergoing induction of labor. However, the broad range of the statistical confidence intervals precluded prediction of a given pregnancy's oxytocin requirement.

    Title Maternal and Perinatal Effects of Hypertension at Term.
    Date April 1992
    Journal The Journal of Reproductive Medicine
    Excerpt

    This study sought to determine if selected maternal and fetal outcomes in term singleton pregnancies complicated by hypertension during labor differed from those without this complication. All pregnancies delivered at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Texas, during 1986 were ascertained using a computerized database. A total of 11,812 term singleton pregnancies ended in delivery during the study period; 1,392 (12%) were complicated by hypertension. Women with a total of 1,383 of these hypertensive pregnancies presented to the hospital with a live fetus. Hypertension was diagnosed in 984 (19%) of the 5,060 primiparous and 399 (6%) of the 6,752 parous women. Hypertension during labor in term singleton pregnancies is associated with increased maternal risks because of the potential complications associated with interventions necessary for successful management. Moreover, hypertension in such pregnancies also increases the perinatal mortality rate. However, this increased rate results from a higher likelihood that fetal death will occur prior to the patient's presentation to the hospital. The risk of fetal morbidity and mortality appears to be low in the hypertensive woman with a term pregnancy admitted to the hospital with a live fetus.

    Title Pathologic Fetal Acidemia.
    Date December 1991
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    There is no clearly established umbilical artery pH cutoff to be used for defining pathologic fetal acidemia (ie, the threshold associated with major neonatal morbidity or mortality). Classically, a pH cutoff of less than 7.20 has been used. Our goal was to define this pH cutoff more precisely. There were 3506 term newborns (2500 g or greater) with an umbilical artery pH of less than 7.20; these newborns were divided into five pH groups. Eighty-seven (2.5%) had a pH of less than 7.00, 95 (2.7%) a pH of 7.00-7.04, 290 (8.3%) 7.05-7.09, 798 (22.8%) 7.10-7.14, and 2236 (63.8%) 7.15-7.19. Two-thirds (66.7%) of the newborns with an umbilical artery pH less than 7.00 had a metabolic component in their acidemia, compared with 13.7% or less in all other pH groups. Significantly more (P less than .05) newborns in the less-than-7.00 pH group had low (less than 3) 1- and 5-minute Apgar scores compared with the other four pH groups. In addition, neonatal death was significantly more common (P = .03) in newborns with a pH less than 7.00, and seven (50%) of the 14 deaths occurred in this group. The statistically significant pH cutoff for all seizures was less than 7.05 (P = .004), and for unexplained seizures was less than 7.00 (P = .01). Eight (67%) of the 12 unexplained seizures occurred in this latter pH group. Thus, a more realistic pH cutoff for defining pathologic fetal acidemia would appear to be less than 7.00.

    Title Elective Hospitalization in the Management of Twin Pregnancies.
    Date June 1991
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a policy of early elective hospitalization on the outcomes of 522 consecutive twin gestations delivered at our institution between 1983-1987. During the first 2 years (1983-1985), 237 twin pregnancies were delivered with a policy of elective hospitalization when twin pregnancy was diagnosed between 24-32 weeks' gestation. When possible, elective hospitalization started at 24 weeks' gestation. Electively admitted women remained hospitalized until 34 weeks' gestation, at which time they were discharged unless complications developed requiring continued hospitalization. During 1985-1987, 285 women with twin gestations were intentionally managed as outpatients unless intercurrent complications required hospitalization. A total of 211 twin pregnancies was excluded from analysis because the women did not present for prenatal care (19%) or were undiagnosed until delivery (22%). Of the remaining 311 pregnancies available for study, 134 were managed when the elective admission policy prevailed and 177 when this policy was not in effect. Although the elective admission policy did result in a small reduction in the incidence of low birth weight among the 58 pregnancies hospitalized electively (mean [+/- SEM] gestational age at elective hospitalization 27.7 +/- 0.3 weeks) compared with outpatient management, this policy did not result in an improvement in prematurity (32 versus 36%; P greater than .05) or perinatal morbidity as reflected by requirement for neonatal intensive care (12 versus 11%; P greater than .05) and mechanical ventilation (8 versus 9%; P greater than .05). Moreover, perinatal mortality was actually higher in the electively hospitalized pregnancies (8 versus 2%; P = .01).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    Title Observations on the Cause of Oligohydramnios in Prolonged Pregnancy.
    Date January 1991
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    There is increasing evidence that implicates reduced amnionic fluid volume as a major determinant of fetal risk in prolonged pregnancy. We sought to determine whether reduced fetal urine production might be associated with oligohydramnios in pregnancies that reach 42 weeks or more. Ultrasonographic measurements of the fetal bladder were obtained every 2 to 5 minutes for 1 hour in 38 gestations verified to be at least 42 weeks. Oligohydramnios was present in eight of the prolonged pregnancies. Similar measurements were performed in 15 normal pregnancies delivered by elective repeat cesarean section between 38 and 40 weeks' gestation. Hourly fetal urine production rates were calculated with sequential bladder volume measurements. The result of this investigation suggest that diminished fetal urine production is associated with oligohydramnios in prolonged pregnancy. The mechanism by which fetal urine production is reduced in prolonged pregnancy remains unknown. A likely possibility is reduced fetal swallowing because of already diminished amnionic fluid volume, the latter a result of placental senescence.

    Title Randomized Investigation of Magnesium Sulfate for Prevention of Preterm Birth.
    Date October 1990
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    One hundred fifty-six women with preterm labor between 24 and 34 weeks' gestation were randomized to receive either intravenous magnesium sulfate or no tocolytic therapy. Magnesuim sulfate infusions of up to 3 gm/hr were used in 76 pregnancies and resulted in a mean serum magnesium concentration of 5.5 +/- 1.4 mEq/L (mean +/- SEM). Compared with 80 control pregnancies, magnesium sulfate tocolysis had no significant effect on duration of gestation, birth weight, neonatal morbidity, and perinatal mortality. We conclude that clinically safe infusions of magnesium sulfate are ineffective when used to prevent preterm birth.

    Title Intrapartum Asphyxia in Pregnancies Complicated by Intra-amniotic Infection.
    Date September 1990
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Intra-amniotic infection has been reported to be associated with intrapartum asphyxia; however, the criteria used to define asphyxia have been imprecise. In the present study of 123 women with intra-amniotic infection and 6769 women without infection, the mean umbilical artery pH was 7.28 in both groups. The frequency of acidemia (umbilical artery pH less than 7.20) was not significantly different between the infection group and controls (15 versus 10%; P = .12). Likewise, there was no significant difference between the groups when a lower umbilical artery pH value (less than 7.15) was used to define acidemia. None of the infants from infected mothers had metabolic acidemia with a pH of less than 7.15 and none had a pH of less than 7.00. Significantly more (P less than .05) infants in the infected group did have low 1-minute (20 versus 5%) and 5-minute (3 versus 1%) Apgar scores of 6 or less, criteria often used to define asphyxia. However, none of the newborns from the infected group had recently proposed criteria for the diagnosis of birth asphyxia (ie, leading to neurologic impairment) such as metabolic acidemia, seizures in the immediate newborn period, and low Apgar scores (3 or less). Birth asphyxia is rarely associated with intra-amniotic infection, and in the absence of other signs of fetal jeopardy such as an ominous fetal heart rate pattern, an immediate cesarean to prevent asphyxia does not appear justified once the diagnosis of chorioamnionitis is made.

    Title The National Impact of Ritodrine Hydrochloride for Inhibition of Preterm Labor.
    Date July 1990
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Ritodrine hydrochloride is a beta 2-receptor agonist that relaxes uterine smooth muscle. It was developed specifically for treatment of preterm labor and was approved for this indication in 1980 by the Food and Drug Administration. Estimates of ritodrine usage in the United States were calculated based upon annual sales, and these were examined in relation to the incidence of births in 500-g weight categories less than 2500 g. We estimate that more than 100,000 women with preterm labor are treated with ritodrine annually, but this has had minimal if any impact on the incidence of low birth weight in this country.

    Title Diagnosis of Birth Asphyxia on the Basis of Fetal Ph, Apgar Score, and Newborn Cerebral Dysfunction.
    Date October 1989
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Imprecise diagnosis of birth asphyxia coupled with uncertainties about causal factors for neurologic abnormalities in the newborn have greatly fueled the current litigation crisis in obstetrics. Our goal was to more precisely define birth asphyxia based on fetal condition as measured by umbilical artery blood pH, Apgar scores, and neurologic condition of newborns. We selected for study 2738 patients with singleton pregnancies with cephalic presentations who were delivered of infants at term to avoid complications such as prematurity, which may affect infant outcome independent of birth condition. The basis for study of these particular patients were defined criteria for high risk and an indicated arterial cord pH value. A total of five infants demonstrated cerebral dysfunction as evidenced by seizures during the neonatal period. Infection was linked to seizures in three of these infants; one infant had neonatal asphyxia and only one infant's clinical course could be attributed solely to birth events (uterine rupture). Stratification of umbilical artery blood pH values, Apgar scores, and combinations of these dependent variables in relation to newborn clinical outcomes revealed that infants must be severely depressed at delivery before birth asphyxia can be reliably diagnosed. Such depression includes Apgar scores less than or equal to 3 at 1 and 5 minutes plus umbilical artery pH values less than 7.00.

    Title Early Pregnancy Glycosylated Hemoglobin, Severity of Diabetes, and Fetal Malformations.
    Date September 1989
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Total percent glycosylated hemoglobin (A1a + b + c) was measured before 16 weeks' gestation in 105 insulin-treated diabetic women enrolled for prenatal care at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Seventy-three of the infants were normal, 14 had malformations, and there were 18 spontaneous abortions. The mean glycosylated hemoglobin level for the entire study group was 9.2%, compared with 9.4% for those pregnancies ending in abortion, 8.9% for those resulting in normal infants, and 10.3% when malformations occurred. The mean glycosylated hemoglobin value for women delivered of normal infants was significantly lower than the mean of those with malformed infants. Ten of the 14 malformations occurred in mothers whose early pregnancy values exceeded the mean of the entire study group. There was also an association between malformations and White classification of maternal diabetes since 10 of the 14 fetal anomalies occurred in women assigned to White Classes C, D, F, H, and R. When the distribution of malformations was analyzed according to both glycosylated hemoglobin level and White Class, there was evidence of an interaction to suggest that hyperglycemia increases the relative risk of fetal malformations when associated with maternal diabetes of longer duration and or with vascular complications.

    Title Umbilical Artery Acid-base Status in the Preterm Infant.
    Date August 1989
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that Apgar scores are generally lower in otherwise uncomplicated preterm newborns than in term newborns. However, there is little information regarding normal values for umbilical artery blood gas measurements in the preterm infant. The present study included 77 otherwise uncomplicated preterm infants and 1292 uncomplicated term infants. Although preterm infants did have significantly lower 1- and 5-minute Apgar scores, there was no significant difference in the frequency of acidemia (umbilical artery pH below 7.20). The mean pH was 7.29 in preterm infants and 7.28 in term infants. Mean values for pCO2, pO2, HCO3, and base deficit were similar in each group. There were no significant differences in umbilical artery blood gas values in the 77 preterm infants according to birth weight groups. Umbilical cord blood acid-base determination may prove a useful adjunct in assessing the condition of the newborn preterm infant.

    Title Pregnancy Complicated by Bacterial Endocarditis.
    Date August 1989
    Journal Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    In conclusion, bacterial endocarditis is a rare but very serious pregnancy complication that may lead to maternal death. The predisposing factors for the development of endocarditis appeared to have changed during the past two decades. Intravenous drug abuse, rather than rheumatic and congenital heart defects, is emerging as a major cause of endocarditis. Importantly, diagnostic evaluation and therapy during pregnancy are essentially identical to those for nonpregnant patients.

    Title Meconium in the Amniotic Fluid and Fetal Acid-base Status.
    Date February 1989
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Of 323 pregnancies with meconium-stained amniotic fluid at 36-42 weeks' gestation, 68 (21%) had a pH less than 7.20 in umbilical arterial blood, 21 (7%) had a pH less than 7.15, and only three newborns (0.9%) had true metabolic acidemia. At birth, of the 74 newborns with normal electronic fetal heart rate (FHR) tracings, eight (11%) had an umbilical arterial pH less than 7.20. There was a significantly higher frequency of acidemia (defined as pH less than 7.20) in newborns with both baseline and periodic FHR abnormalities. Although there was a significant difference (P less than .05) in the frequency of meconium found below the cords in these neonates with an umbilical artery pH less than 7.20 compared with those with values exceeding 7.20, there was no significant difference in the frequency of clinical meconium aspiration syndrome. We conclude that meconium-stained amniotic fluid correlates poorly with infant condition at birth as reflected by umbilical cord acid-base measurements.

    Title Cesarean Section: the House of Horne Revisited.
    Date February 1989
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    In 1983, obstetricians from Dublin, Ireland, alleged that the perinatal mortality rate in the United States could be achieved with a cesarean section rate of approximately 5%. We responded in 1985 that population and infant outcome differences precluded such a low rate of cesarean sections at Parkland Memorial Hospital. The Dublin obstetricians responded 3 years later that it was unfair to compare obstetric services for only 1 year (1983). We respond again.

    Title Bacterial Endocarditis. A Serious Pregnancy Complication.
    Date November 1988
    Journal The Journal of Reproductive Medicine
    Excerpt

    The incidence of bacterial endocarditis, a rare complication of pregnancy, may be increasing due to illicit drug use. Increased awareness, with prompt diagnosis and aggressive treatment during gestation, may lead to improved maternal and neonatal outcomes.

    Title Intrapartum Treatment of Acute Chorioamnionitis: Impact on Neonatal Sepsis.
    Date October 1988
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    In a study of 312 women with acute chorioamnionitis, 152 women received antibiotics before delivery, 90 received antibiotics after cord clamping, and 70 did not receive antibiotics. Antibiotics were administered during labor rather than after cord clamping if delivery was not imminent. Although endometritis developed more frequently in the patients receiving antibiotics after cord clamping, the difference was not statistically significant (5.6% versus 3.9%, difference not significant). There were two cases of verified sepsis in the group of infants (35 weeks) born to mothers receiving intrapartum antibiotics and there were eight cases in the no antibiotics group (p = 0.06). More importantly, in neonates greater than or equal to 35 weeks' gestational age, there was a significant difference in the frequency of positive blood cultures for group B streptococci (0/133 versus 8/140, p less than 0.05). We conclude that administration of antibiotics to the mother during labor may result in a decreased incidence of neonatal sepsis.

    Title Hypothyroidism Complicating Pregnancy.
    Date July 1988
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Hypothyroidism rarely complicates pregnancy because most affected women are anovulatory. In this report, we describe 28 complicated pregnancies cared for over a ten-year period at Parkland Memorial Hospital. In the group of 16 pregnancies in 14 overtly hypothyroid women, maternal complications were common and included anemia (31%), preeclampsia (44%), placental abruption (19%), postpartum hemorrhage (19%), and cardiac dysfunction. Perinatal morbidity and mortality were also high mainly because of placental abruption, and reflected frequent low birth weight (31%) and fetal death (12%). In a group of 12 women with subclinical hypothyroidism, these complications were less impressive. We speculate that overt thyroid deficiency is associated with adverse pregnancy outcome related to preeclampsia and placental abruption. Thyroxine replacement probably improves these outcomes even if subclinical hypothyroidism persists.

    Title Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion During Pregnancy.
    Date June 1988
    Journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice
    Excerpt

    The development of battery-powered pumps for continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion added new dimensions to control of diabetes during pregnancy. In this report, we describe our experiences with 28 pregnant diabetic women offered participation in an insulin pump program. Fifteen (54%) accepted pump therapy and ten continued usage during their pregnancies. Excluding abortions, eight women continuing pump use are compared to 11 others who declined such therapy and were treated with conventional methods. Although these two groups are small and not strictly comparable, the experiences now reported provide clinical insights into the application of this new technology during pregnancy. Women who successfully used insulin pumps were typically from the private sector and in better glucose control at study entry. The degree of control during pregnancy in women using pumps was not significantly different compared to conventional glucose control methods (mean glucose 120 mg/dl and 142 mg/dl, respectively). Similarly, several indices of pregnancy outcome including length of hospitalization, costs, and perinatal morbidity associated with diabetes were analyzed and no significant differences were observed. We conclude that insulin pumps are not acceptable to all pregnant diabetic women and that such therapy may not necessarily improve pregnancy outcome.

    Title Ticarcillin-clavulanic Acid for Prophylaxis of Postpartum Puerperal Infections.
    Date June 1988
    Journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
    Title The Natural History of Preterm Ruptured Membranes: What to Expect of Expectant Management.
    Date May 1988
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    We asked the question: What can be expected of expectant management in preterm ruptured membranes? Our findings showed that ruptured membranes during the first half of the third trimester occurred in only 1.7% (N = 298) of 17,877 pregnancies delivered at our institution, yet accounted for 20% of the total perinatal deaths during the study period. Expectant management was seldom successful; only 20 (7%) of pregnancies with preterm ruptured membranes did not begin labor within 48 hours. The condition of preterm ruptured membranes was also frequently associated with other obstetric complications such as twins, breech presentation, chorioamnionitis, and fetal heart rate decelerations in labor. We conclude that preterm ruptured membranes is an uncommon but complex obstetric problem that remains largely unsolved.

    Title Prediction of Discordant Twins Using Ultrasound Measurement of Biparietal Diameter and Abdominal Perimeter.
    Date November 1987
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Prediction of twin birth weight discordancy was tested in 116 gestations using sonographic measurements of biparietal diameter (BPD) and abdominal perimeter. Abdominal perimeter measurement differences of 20 mm or greater were more sensitive and specific than BPD difference in detecting twins with dissimilar birth weights.

    Title Amnionic Fluid Volume in Prolonged Pregnancy.
    Date February 1987
    Journal Seminars in Perinatology
    Excerpt

    The evidence implicating reduced amnionic fluid volume as a major problem in prolonged pregnancy seems clear. Oligohydramnios serves to explain the association of umbilical cord compression fetal heart rate patterns in labors complicated by fetal distress and such cord entrapment may even explain the release of meconium into the amnionic fluid. Ultrasonic assessment of amnionic fluid volume, regardless of the definition of oligohydramnios used, appears to single out the prolonged pregnancy where the fetus is at risk. Important questions remain as to how best to quantify fluid volume using sonography and, importantly, whether normal amnionic fluid volume reliably predicts fetal well being for a predictable period of time. That is, oligohydramnios diagnosed using ultrasound seems meaningful, but whether a normal fluid volume permits safe expectant management needs further evaluation. This is particularly relevant if the liquor volume may subside within 24 to 48 hours as reported by Beischer et al. Unfortunately, the mechanisms by which amnionic fluid volume decreases in prolonged pregnancies remain unknown. As in Ballantyne's time, we still do not know ". . . what functions the fetus is performing during these accessory weeks . . . nor how he is performing them . . . ." But we have learned that oligohydramnios has a central role in producing some of the fetal complications associated with prolonged pregnancy.

    Title Lecithin-sphingomyelin Ratios in Amniotic Fluid of Pregnancies with an Anencephalic Fetus.
    Date October 1986
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    As many investigators have shown that surfactant production in the developing human lung is subject to multihormonal regulation, the present authors determined the lecithin-sphingomyelin (L/S) ratio in amniotic fluid of pregnancies with an anencephalic fetus, in which there was known to be aberrant production of fetal pituitary, adrenal, and consequently, placental hormones. The L/S ratio in amniotic fluid from seven of eight pregnancies with an anencephalic fetus was substantially lower than that in amniotic fluids of pregnancies with a normal fetus at the same stage of gestation. The L/S ratio in amniotic fluid of an anencephalic fetus of a twin pregnancy (monochorionic diamniotic) at 34 weeks' gestation was low; the L/S ratio of the amniotic fluid of the normal fetus was high. These data are supportive of the view that fetal lung maturation is dependent, in part, upon normal function of the fetal pituitary and adrenal.

    Title A Prospective Comparison of Selective and Universal Electronic Fetal Monitoring in 34,995 Pregnancies.
    Date September 1986
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Excerpt

    We investigated the effects of using intrapartum electronic fetal monitoring in all pregnancies, as compared with using it only in cases in which the fetus is judged to be at high risk. Predominant risk factors included oxytocin stimulation of labor, dysfunctional labor, abnormal fetal heart rate, or meconium-stained amniotic fluid. This prospective alternate-month clinical trial took place over a 36-month period during which 34,995 women gave birth. In alternate months, either 7 (for "selective monitoring") or 19 (for "universal monitoring") fetal monitors were made available in the labor and delivery unit. During the "selective" months, 6420 of 17,409 women (37 percent) were electronically monitored, as compared with 13,956 of 17,586 women (79 percent) during the "universal months." Universal monitoring was associated with a small but significant increase in the incidence of delivery by cesarean section because of fetal distress, but perinatal outcomes as assessed by intrapartum stillbirths, low Apgar scores, a need for assisted ventilation of the newborn, admission to the intensive care nursery, or neonatal seizures were not significantly different. We conclude that not all pregnancies, and particularly not those considered at low risk of perinatal complications, need continuous electronic fetal monitoring during labor.

    Title Cervical Dilatation and Prematurity Revisited.
    Date September 1986
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Cervical examination between 26 and 30 weeks' gestation is described as a method for identifying women at risk for delivery before 34 weeks. Blinded cervical examinations were performed in 185 consecutive women, and 15 (8%) were found to have cervixes dilated 2 or 3 cm. The incidence of delivery before 34 weeks' gestation was 27% in such women compared with 2% in those whose cervixes were undilated or 1 cm. Other factors linked to cervical dilatation included parity and prior preterm delivery. However, parous women with cervical dilatation remained at increased risk for delivery before 34 weeks' gestation. We conclude that early third-trimester cervical examination may be an important adjunct in identifying women at risk for preterm delivery.

    Title Single-centre Randomised Trial of Ritodrine Hydrochloride for Preterm Labour.
    Date July 1986
    Journal Lancet
    Excerpt

    106 women between 24 and 33 weeks' gestation and in preterm labour, rigidly defined to include cervical dilatation plus regular uterine contractions, were randomly allocated to receive either intravenous ritodrine hydrochloride or no tocolytic treatment. Ritodrine treatment significantly delayed delivery for 24 hours or less but did not significantly modify the ultimate perinatal consequences of preterm labour.

    Title Glucose Threshold for Macrosomia in Pregnancy Complicated by Diabetes.
    Date March 1986
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    We analyzed 205 diabetic women treated with insulin during pregnancy to assess the effects of several maternal factors on the development of fetal macrosomia. A total of 95 women were selected for study because they had clearly defined gestational criteria, two or more daytime glucose profiles during the third trimester, and no other complications known to affect fetal growth. The incidence of macrosomia was not found to increase significantly until the mean glucose concentration reached 130 mg/dl; macrosomia occurred in 65% of mothers with glucose values greater than or equal to 130 mg/dl compared with 27% in those with lower values. Other factors strongly associated with fetal macrosomia were maternal weight and insulin dosage. Multiple logistic analysis was performed to control for each risk factor and to obtain estimates of the relative risk for macrosomia. The risk of macrosomia was two times greater in women with mean glucose concentrations greater than or equal to 130 mg/dl, approximately threefold in women whose weight exceeded 80 kg, and one and one half times greater in women with insulin dosages more than 80 units/day. We conclude that several maternal factors in addition to glucose concentration play important roles in the development of fetal macrosomia among diabetic women and that the glucose concentration threshold for macrosomia may exceed 130 mg/dl.

    Title Cesarean Section: an Answer to the House of Horne.
    Date January 1986
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    The incidence of cesarean delivery in the United States has at least tripled in the past 20 years, and this has generated a great deal of concern within the profession, by the government, and by the consumer. Recent data from the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, from which a stable 5% cesarean section rate was reported, have led those investigators to conclude that more frequent delivery by cesarean section in the United States was due in part to less aggressive management of labor in nulliparous patients. In this report, we compare obstetric practices and outcomes during 1983 for Parkland Memorial Hospital with those of the National Maternity Hospital. The overall cesarean delivery rate was 18% in Dallas and 6% in Dublin, and racial population differences along with an increased number of nulliparous patients likely account for a higher incidence of primary cesarean sections for dystocia in Dallas. Importantly, when we compared the results in Dublin with our own, more liberal use of cesarean delivery for presumed fetal jeopardy in Dallas was associated with a sevenfold decreased incidence of intrapartum fetal death and a twofold decrease in infants with seizures. From these data, we advise caution before one attempts to emulate, on faith alone, someone else's low and seemingly safe cesarean delivery rate.

    Title Prenatal Care and the Low Birth Weight Infant.
    Date November 1985
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    In this study the authors assessed human and economic consequences of low birth weight linked to the lack of prenatal care for indigent women. Low birth weight infants were defined as those who weighed between 860 and 2220 g, corresponding to the 50th percentiles at 26 and 34 weeks' gestation. Women seeking prenatal care had a significantly decreased incidence of low birth weight infants compared with those without such care. Concomitantly, low birth weight infants born to women with prenatal care had significantly better perinatal survival as well as less frequent respiratory distress and intraventricular hemorrhage. Because of these factors, infants born to clinic mothers used fewer neonatal intensive care days and had shorter hospitalizations. Hospital costs were reviewed for 175 surviving infants and failure to obtain prenatal care was associated with a 50% increase in costs for each infant. The frequencies of the most common pregnancy complications in women with and without prenatal care, coupled with corresponding obstetric interventions, suggest that such care facilitates identification and management of women at risk for delivery of low birth weight infants. The authors conclude that there are important human and economic advantages of antenatal care for indigent women.

    Title Ultrasound Prediction of Fetal Weight in Prolonged Pregnancy.
    Date April 1985
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    In this study we applied two commonly used birth weight prediction equations to a sample of 121 women with prolonged pregnancies. Subjects had sonographic measurements of biparietal diameter and abdominal perimeter taken within 2 days of delivery at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Although the two prediction equations were obtained from a population of women in New Haven, Connecticut, who delivered over a wide range of gestational ages, when the equations were applied to the sample of prolonged pregnancies in Dallas, Texas, there was a strong correlation (0.71) between predicted and actual birth weight. Moreover, reestimation of the New Haven equations with use of the Dallas data yielded similar regression coefficients. Finally, birth weight prediction equations for black, white, and Hispanic patients in Dallas were not significantly different. These findings suggest a remarkably constant relationship between fetal head and abdominal dimensions and birth weight over different gestational ages and for different population groups.

    Title Myocardial Infarction During Pregnancy: a Review.
    Date January 1985
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    In the present review the world literature on pregnancy complicated by myocardial infarction is summarized, and two additional cases are presented. It is apparent that the majority of pregnant women who have died after myocardial infarction did so at the time of initial infarction, and maternal mortality was greatest if the infarction was late in pregnancy. Moreover, delivery within two weeks of infarction was associated with increased mortality as was reinfarction during labor. These results suggest that the increasing cardiovascular stresses of late pregnancy, especially when intensified by parturition, seriously compromise women with ischemic heart disease. Efforts should therefore be made to limit myocardial oxygen demand/consumption throughout pregnancy, and particularly during parturition. Although principles of management can be generalized, these high risk patients require individualization of care by a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, anesthesiologists, and obstetricians.

    Title Prolonged Pregnancy. I. Observations Concerning the Causes of Fetal Distress.
    Date December 1984
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    During a 2-year prospective investigation of prolonged pregnancy in 727 women, 59 (8%) were delivered by cesarean section for fetal distress. This condition was diagnosed by means of electronic fetal heart rate monitoring in 47 of the women, and the patterns were unexpectedly characteristic of umbilical cord compression rather than uteroplacental insufficiency. Blinded sonar examinations were performed in 213 women, and the incidence of cesarean section for fetal distress as now described was significantly increased in those with oligohydramnios (two or fewer 1 cm pockets of amniotic fluid). We conclude that the pathophysiology of fetal distress in prolonged pregnancy is typically oligohydramnios that leads to compromised umbilical cord perfusion, rather than uteroplacental insufficiency.

    Title Longitudinal Evaluation of Hemodynamic Changes in Eclampsia.
    Date December 1984
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Eight primigravid women with eclampsia underwent invasive hemodynamic monitoring shortly after admission and showed initial low right and left ventricular filling pressures, hyperdynamic left ventricular function, and elevated systemic vascular resistance. These findings persisted throughout 12 postpartum hours, with management that consisted of restriction of fluid, magnesium sulfate, and intermittent hydralazine for severe hypertension. Thereafter, those women without spontaneous diuresis had elevated pulmonary capillary wedge pressures despite hyperdynamic ventricular function. We hypothesize that this phenomenon was due to mobilization of extracellular extravascular fluid prior to diuresis. Comparison of these women with those with severe preeclampsia previously reported by others suggests that their hemodynamic status is significantly influenced by differences in fluid management.

    Title The Effect of Hypertension in Pregnant Women on Fetal Adrenal Function and Fetal Plasma Lipoprotein-cholesterol Metabolism.
    Date October 1984
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    In the present investigation, we evaluated the effect(s) of long-term hypertension and pregnancy-induced hypertension in women on the activity of the adrenals of their fetuses. We measured dehydroisoandrosterone sulfate, cortisol, and lipoprotein-cholesterol in umbilical cord plasma of newborn infants delivered (30 to 41 weeks' gestation) of 120 women whose pregnancies were uncomplicated and of 98 women with pregnancy-induced or long-term hypertension. Umbilical cord plasma levels of cortisol were similar in both groups of newborn infants at each gestational period. Fetal plasma levels of dehydroisoandrosterone sulfate also were similar in both groups at 30 to 33 weeks of gestation but were significantly reduced in newborn infants of hypertension women who were delivered between 34 and 41 weeks of gestation compared with those of newborn infants of normal women who were delivered at a similar gestational age. At term, umbilical cord plasma levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol were significantly higher in the newborn infants of hypertensive women compared with those levels in newborn infants of normotensive women; fetal plasma levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and very low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol were similar in both groups of newborn infants. The lowest plasma levels of dehydroisoandrosterone sulfate and the highest plasma levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol were found in newborn infants of women with the most severe pregnancy-induced hypertension. Based on these findings, we conclude that maternal hypertension effects a decrease in the rate of steroidogenesis of the fetal zone of the fetal adrenal cortex but does not act in a similar manner to effect steroidogenesis of the neocortical zone and leads to hypercholesterolemia in the fetus as a consequence of reduced adrenal utilization of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol. In addition, the effects of pregnancy-induced hypertension appear to be manifest in the fetus late in pregnancy at a time when the fetal adrenal normally undergoes an accelerated rate of growth and steroid biosynthesis.

    Title Sinusoidal Fetal Heart Rate Pattern After Intrauterine Transfusion.
    Date September 1984
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Two pregnancies complicated by severe Rh-isoimmunization and the development of sinusoidal fetal heart rate patterns immediately after intrauterine transfusions are presented. An intermittent sinusoidal pattern resolved, in one fetus, with sonographic evidence of delayed but complete absorption of transfused red blood cells. In contrast, the second fetus exhibited a continuous sinusoidal pattern coincident with cardiac decompensation detected by echocardiography, severe anemia, and failure to absorb transfused red blood cells. Possible pathophysiologic mechanisms for the development of sinusoidal patterns after fetal transfusions are discussed. It is concluded that a sinusoidal fetal heart rate pattern may occur after fetal transfusion and that the subsequent course of this pattern provides meaningful information about fetal condition as well as the success of intrauterine transfusion.

    Title Perioperative Antimicrobials at Cesarean Section: Lavage Versus Three Intravenous Doses.
    Date July 1984
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Title Fetal Lung Maturation in Twin Gestation.
    Date March 1984
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Clear amnionic fluid was collected at cesarean section and the lecithin/sphingomyelin (L/S) ratio was used to evaluate fetal lung maturation in 42 twin gestations. The L/S ratios of twin pairs were usually similar in both numerical value and predictive accuracy except when the greater L/S ratio from one member of a pair indicated borderline lung maturity. Twin fetal lung maturation was found to be independent of sex, zygosity, and birth weight discordance. Comparison of mean L/S ratios in twins to those of uncomplicated singleton pregnancies revealed that fetal lung maturation occurred several weeks earlier in twins.

    Title Respiratory Insufficiency Associated with Pyelonephritis During Pregnancy.
    Date February 1984
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    A previously unreported complication of acute pyelonephritis during pregnancy is described. Acute respiratory distress accompanied by varying manifestations of liver, kidney, hypothalamic, and hematopoietic dysfunction is chronicled in four women. Because these latter organ system effects are attributable to endotoxin, the authors postulate that endotoxin caused alveolar-capillary injury leading to respiratory failure in these pregnant women with acute renal infection.

    Title Perioperative Antimicrobials for Cesarean Delivery: Before or After Cord Clamping?
    Date August 1983
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To determine neonatal risk of exposure to intrapartum antimicrobials given to reduce maternal infection following cesarean delivery, 642 mother-infant pairs were evaluated. In 464, the mother was given an initial dose of antimicrobial(s) before cord clamping, whereas in the remaining 178 administration of these drugs was not begun until after delivery. Despite the facts that all infants were at equivalent risk for infection and that none were proved to have bacteremia, 28% of those exposed to intrapartum maternal antimicrobials were evaluated for sepsis whereas only 15% of those not exposed were evaluated (P less than .001). Excess hospital charges for infants in whom sepsis workup was initiated was $127 greater than that for infants not suspected of having sepsis (P less than .025). Of 305 women given three-dose perioperative antimicrobial therapy, 255 were given the initial dose before cord clamping and 24% experienced a subsequent uterine infection. This was not significant when compared with a uterine infection rate of 22% in 50 women in whom three-dose therapy was not initiated until after cord clamping. As maternal benefits that accrue from such intrapartum therapy are equivalent regardless of the timing of three-dose treatment, and as fetal exposure to these drugs has significant clinical and economic impacts, it is concluded that antimicrobials given to these women at high risk should be withheld until after cord clamping.

    Title Induced Delivery Prior to Surgery for Ruptured Cerebral Aneurysm.
    Date June 1983
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Labor was induced by amniotomy at 34 weeks' gestation because of preeclampsia in a woman with a recent ruptured cerebral aneurysm prior to corrective neurosurgery. Neither labor nor vaginal delivery caused neurologic injury to the mother. Subsequent neurosurgery was successful and both mother and infant continued to do well several months later. These outcomes support management advised in the literature in circumstances not previously reported.

    Title Does Ritodrine Cause Fever?
    Date June 1983
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Title Perinatal Outcome in the Absence of Antepartum Fetal Heart Rate Acceleration.
    Date March 1983
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    The perinatal outcome of 27 pregnancies in which antepartum fetal activity testing revealed fetal heart rate acceleration to be either absent or less than 10 beats per minute for 80 minutes is presented. At delivery, each pregnancy was found to have one or more features consistent with uteroplacental insufficiency. These included fetal growth retardation (74%), oligohydramnios (81%), fetal acidosis (41%), meconium (30%), and placental infarction (93%). There were four fetal and seven neonatal deaths, for a perinatal mortality of 41%. Despite delivery of all live-born infants by cesarean section without labor, the infants who died during the neonatal period appeared to be in such poor condition as to preclude survival. The authors conclude that the inability of the fetus to accelerate its heart rate, when not due to maternal medications, is an ominous signal. Throughout the literature on fetal activity testing there are indications that other investigators have had similar experiences. The purpose of the present report is to direct attention to an abnormal fetal activity test result of which the significance is not widely recognized.

    Title Potassium and Glucose Concentrations Without Treatment During Ritodrine Tocolysis.
    Date February 1983
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Title Dilemmas in the Management of Pregnancy Complicated by Diabetes.
    Date January 1983
    Journal The Medical Clinics of North America
    Title Continuing Investigation of Women at High Risk for Infection Following Cesarean Delivery. Three-dose Perioperative Antimicrobial Therapy.
    Date August 1982
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    At Parkland Memorial Hospital a group of women at high risk for infection following cesarean delivery was identified. These included nulliparas who underwent cesarean section for cephalopelvic disproportion 6 or more hours following membrane rupture. During the puerperium, uterine infection developed in 85 to 95% of such women, and one third of this high-risk group had associated complications. The authors have previously reported the efficacy antimicrobial agents given to these women at the time of cesarean section and continued for 4 days. The present prospective study was designed to assess the efficacy of a shorter course of perioperative antimicrobial therapy for these high-risk women. Three doses of antimicrobial agents were given perioperatively to 305 women randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment regimens: 115 were given penicillin plus gentamicin, 82 received 2, 1, and 1 g of cefamandole, respectively, and the remaining 108 were given 2, 2, and 2 g of cefamandole, respectively. The incidence of uterine infection in these 305 women was 24% and associated complications were identified in 7% of all women. Based upon a comparison of results with the progenitor study, the authors conclude that 3-dose perioperative antimicrobial therapy is preferred to 4 days of treatment for women at high risk for infection following cesarean delivery.

    Title Renal Infection and Pregnancy Outcome.
    Date February 1982
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    To evaluate the impact of renal infection on pregnancy outcome, we studied a group of pregnant women with asymptomatic renal bacteriuria and another group who had acute pyelonephritis. In 248 women with asymptomatic bacteriuria, infection was localized by the antibody-coated bacteria method. These women were prospectively matched with abacteriuric control subjects and we found no adverse effects of treated renal or bladder infection. Specifically, the number of women with hypertension and anemia in each group was similar, and infants born to these women were comparable regarding perinatal mortality, mean gestational age, and birth weight, as well as indices of maturity. A total of 487 women with acute pyelonephritis were evaluated in a case-control study and observations of the correlation of maternal anemia and pyelonephritis were confirmed. Women with antepartum infection had no increased adverse perinatal outcome; however, in some women with intrapartum infection, pyelonephritis appeared to have initiated premature labor. We concluded that treated renal infection, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, does not significantly modify pregnancy outcome.

    Title Bladder Versus Renal Bacteriuria During Pregnancy: Recurrence After Treatment.
    Date April 1981
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Localization of bacteriuria has been shown to correlate with the pattern of recurrence after treatment. The immunofluorescent technique was used to localize infection in 233 pregnant women with asymptomatic bacteriuria to determine whether this would identify those who were at greater risk for recurrence. In both an indigent and a military population, the incidence of renal bacteriuria was 42%. Regardless of the site of infection, after one course of short-term (10-day) or long-term (21-day) antimicrobial therapy, almost two thirds of these women were abacteriuric for the remainder of gestation. Women given short-term treatment were more likely to have a recurrence within 2 weeks of completion of therapy than were women given long-term therapy (P less than 0.001). Moreover, these early recurrences were more frequent in women given short-term treatment for renal bacteriuria (P less than 0.05). Conversely, recurrences 6 or more weeks after completion of therapy, and regardless of site of infection, were more common in women given long-term treatment (P less than 0.01). Although the timing of recurrence varied significantly in relation to duration of treatment and site of infection, the ultimate risk of recurrence was not related to either. The conclusion is that localization of asymptomatic bacteriuria does not contribute to the management of pregnant women, since overall recurrence rates are independent of the site of infection.

    Title Sonar Cephalometry in Twin Pregnancy: Discordancy of the Biparietal Diameter After 28 Weeks' Gestation.
    Date January 1981
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Sonar measured biparietal diameter (BPD) differences of twin paires were examined in 123 twin pregnancies at or beyond 28 weeks' gestation. Among 117 liveborn sets, the risk of a twin infant being small for gestational age was threefold greater when paired BPD differences were 5 mm or more compared to 4 mm or less. The incidence of fetal death increased from 2.7% for twin pairs with 0 to 6 mm BPD differences to 20% when the difference was 7 mm or more. Sonar cephalometry may be helpful in the antepartum evaluation of twin pregnancies, although detection of BPD discordancy does not preclude normal twin outcome.

    Title Identification and Management of Women at High Risk for Pelvic Infection Following Cesarean Section.
    Date July 1980
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Title Spontaneous Pneumomediastinum in Pregnancy.
    Date February 1980
    Journal Texas Medicine
    Title Appraisal of "rigid" Blood Glucose Control During Pregnancy in the Overtly Diabetic Woman.
    Date January 1980
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    The degree of maternal glucose control achieved during the third trimester of pregnancy was evaluated for 120 overtly diabetic women hospitalized on a high-risk pregnancy ward. "Rigid" blood glucose control, defined as a mean preprandial plasma glucose concentration less than 115 mg/dl was achieved in only 14% of these women. Although mean preprandial plasmal glucose concentrations ranged between 115 and 172 mg/dl in 66% of women and exceeded 172 mg/dl in 20%, the perinatal salvage rate was greater than 95%. Pregnancies of those women whose mean plasma glucose levels exceeded 172 mg/dl required earlier intervention for signs of fetal jeopardy, but the degree of glucose control was not significantly related to either perinatal death or neonatal morbidity. These results suggest that maternal hyperglycemia exceeding a mean preprandial glucose concentration of 172 mg/dl is to be avoided, whereas, at the other extreme, mean glucose levels less than 115 mg/dl or "rigid" control is unnecessary for a successful perinatal outcome.

    Title Sonar Cephalometry in Twins: a Table of Biparietal Diameters for Normal Twin Fetuses and a Comparison with Singletons.
    Date December 1979
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    In 123 normal twin pregnancies, 589 biparietal diameter (BPD) measurements were obtained between 16 and 40 weeks' gestation and mean values for each week were computed. A table of BPDs for normal twin pregnancies based on these data is proposed. Mean twin BPDs were consistently smaller than those of singletons, the difference averaging 3.5 mm between 16 and 40 weeks' gestation. The development of a twin BPD table now permits a more accurate assessment of twin gestational age and fetal growth.

    Title [ultrasonic Cephalometry in Twin Pregnancies: Comparison with Monocyesis and Evaluation of Twin Concordance]
    Date November 1979
    Journal Archives of Gynecology
    Title Salivary Progesterone and Estriol Among Pregnant Women Treated with 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone Caproate or Placebo.
    Date
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The objectives of the study was to determine whether salivary progesterone (P) or estriol (E3) concentration at 16-20 weeks' gestation predicts preterm birth or the response to 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17OHPC) and whether 17OHPC treatment affected the trajectory of salivary P and E3 as pregnancy progressed. STUDY DESIGN: This was a secondary analysis of a clinical trial of 17OHPC to prevent preterm birth. Baseline saliva was assayed for P and E3. Weekly salivary samples were obtained from 40 women who received 17OHPC and 40 who received placebo in a multicenter randomized trial of 17OHPC to prevent recurrent preterm delivery. RESULTS: Both low and high baseline saliva P and E3 were associated with a slightly increased risk of preterm birth. However, 17OHPC prevented preterm birth comparably, regardless of baseline salivary hormone concentrations. 17OHPC did not alter the trajectory of salivary P over pregnancy, but it significantly blunted the rise in salivary E3 as well as the rise in the E3/P ratio. CONCLUSION: 17OHPC flattened the trajectory of E3 in the second half of pregnancy, suggesting that the drug influences the fetoplacental unit.

    Title Group a Streptococcal Puerperal Sepsis: Historical Review and 1990s Resurgence.
    Date
    Journal Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    There appears to be a resurgence of puerperal sepsis due to a historically important pathogen, group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus.

    Title Subcutaneous Tissue: to Suture or Not to Suture at Cesarean Section.
    Date
    Journal Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    Objective: The null hypothesis for this investigation was that there was no difference in the frequency of wound disruption between women who had their subcutaneous tissues approximated with suture and those who did not during cesarean section.Methods: During alternating months, consecutive women delivered by cesarean section either did (N = 716) or did not (N = 693) have their subcutaneous tissues closed with suture. All data were analyzed using chi square, Student's t-test, Fisher's exact probability test, analysis of variance, or logistic regression.Results: A 32% decrease in the frequency of wound disruption was observed when subcutaneous tissues were brought into apposition with suture at cesarean section (P = 0.03).Conclusions: Closure of Scarpa's and Camper's fascia with suture during cesarean section significantly decreased the frequency of wound disruption in this population.

    Title Can a Prediction Model for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Also Predict the Probability of Morbidity Related to a Trial of Labor?
    Date
    Journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to determine whether a model for predicting vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) can also predict the probabilty of morbidity associated with a trial of labor (TOL). STUDY DESIGN: Using a previously published prediction model, we categorized women with 1 prior cesarean by chance of VBAC. Prevalence of maternal and neonatal morbidity was stratfied by probability of VBAC success and delivery approach. RESULTS: Morbidity became less frequent as the predicted chance of VBAC increased among women who underwent TOL (P < .001) but not elective repeat cesarean section (ERCS) (P > .05). When the predicted chance of VBAC was less than 70%, women undergoing a TOL were more likely to have maternal morbidity (relative risk [RR] 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5-3.1) than those who underwent an ERCS; when the predicted chance of VBAC was at least 70%, total maternal morbidity was not different between the 2 groups (RR 0.8, 95% CI, 0.5-1.2). The results were similar for neonatal morbidity. CONCLUSION: A prediction model for VBAC provides information regarding the chance of TOL-related morbidity and suggests that maternal morbidity is not greater for those women who undergo TOL than those who undergo ERCS if the chance of VBAC is at least 70%.

    Title Cesarean Delivery for the Second Twin.
    Date
    Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVE: To examine maternal and infant outcomes after a vaginal delivery of twin A and a cesarean delivery of twin B, and to identify whether the second twin experienced increased short-term morbidity as part of a combined route of delivery. METHODS: Between January 1, 1999, and December 31, 2000, a prospective cohort study of all cesarean deliveries was conducted at 13 university centers. This secondary analysis was limited to women with twin gestations who experienced labor and underwent cesarean delivery. We compared outcomes of the second twin in women who had vaginal delivery of the first twin and a cesarean delivery of the second twin to those who had cesarean delivery of both twins. RESULTS: One thousand twenty-eight twin pregnancies experienced labor and underwent cesarean delivery; 179 (17%) had a combined vaginal/cesarean delivery. Gestational age at delivery was 34.6 weeks in both groups (P=.97). The rupture of membranes to delivery interval was longer in the combined group (3.2 compared with 2.3 hours, P<.001). Endometritis and culture-proven sepsis in the second twin were more common in the combined group, respectively (n=24, odds ratio 1.6, 95% confidence interval, 1.0-2.7; n=15, odds ratio 1.8, 95% confidence interval, 1.0-3.4). These differences were not significant after logistic regression analysis. There were no statistically significant differences in an arterial cord pH of less than 7.0, Apgar score less than or equal to 3 at 5 minutes, seizures, grade III or IV intraventricular hemorrhage, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or neonatal death. CONCLUSION: Combined twin delivery may be associated with endometritis and neonatal sepsis when compared with a twin delivery where both are delivered by cesarean in twin pregnancies experiencing labor. More serious neonatal sequelae, including hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and death, were not affected by the route of delivery of the second twin.

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