Hong Kong Med J 2012;18:11–9 | Number 1, February 2012
Predictors of successful outcomes after external cephalic version in singleton term breech pregnancies: a nine-year historical cohort study
LY Cho, WL Lau, TK Lo, Helen HT Tang, WC Leung
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Kwong Wah Hospital, 25 Waterloo Road, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To study the success rate, predictors for success, and pregnancy outcomes after external cephalic version.
DESIGN. Historical cohort study.
SETTING. Regional hospital, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. All women who had singleton term breech pregnancies at term and opted for external cephalic version during 2001 and 2009. Their demographic data, clinical and ultrasound findings, procedure details, complications, and delivery outcomes were analysed.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Predictive factors for successful external cephalic version.
RESULTS. A total of 209 external cephalic versions were performed during the 9-year period. The success rate was 63% (75% for multiparous and 53% for nulliparous women). There was no significant complication. On univariate analysis, predictors of successful external cephalic version were: multiparity, unengaged presenting part, higher amniotic fluid index (≥10 cm), thin abdominal wall, low uterine tone, and easily palpable fetal head (subjective assessment by practitioners before external cephalic version). On multivariate analysis, only multiparity, non-engagement of the fetal buttock and thin maternal abdomen were associated with successful external cephalic version. In all, 69% of those who had successful external cephalic version succeeded in the first roll (P
CONCLUSION. External cephalic version was effective in reducing breech presentations at term and corresponding caesarean section rates, but the uptake rate was low. Further work should address the barriers to the low acceptance of external cephalic version. The results of this study could encourage women to opt for external cephalic version.
Key words: Breech presentation; Cesarean section; Version, fetal
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