Vaginal birth after cesarean: new insights on maternal and neonatal outcomes.
ABSTRACT To systematically review the evidence about maternal and neonatal outcomes relating to vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
Relevant studies were identified from multiple searches of MEDLINE, DARE, and the Cochrane databases (1980 to September 2009) and from recent systematic reviews, reference lists, reviews, editorials, Web sites, and experts.
Inclusion criteria limited studies to the English-language and human studies conducted in the United States and developed countries specifically evaluating birth after previous cesarean delivery. Studies focusing on high-risk maternal or neonatal conditions, including breech vaginal delivery, or fewer than 10 patients were excluded. Poor-quality studies were not included in analyses.
We identified 3,134 citations and reviewed 963 articles for inclusion; 203 articles met the inclusion criteria and were quality rated. Overall rates of maternal harms were low for both trial of labor and elective repeat cesarean delivery. Although rare in both elective repeat cesarean delivery and trial of labor, maternal mortality was significantly increased for elective repeat cesarean delivery at 0.013% compared with 0.004% for trial of labor. The rates of maternal hysterectomy, hemorrhage, and transfusions did not differ significantly between trial of labor and elective repeat cesarean delivery. The rate of uterine rupture for all women with prior cesarean was 0.30%, and the risk was significantly increased for trial of labor (0.47% compared with 0.03% for elective repeat cesarean delivery). Perinatal mortality was also significantly increased for trial of labor (0.13% compared with 0.05% for elective repeat cesarean delivery).
Overall the best evidence suggests that VBAC is a reasonable choice for the majority of women. Adverse outcomes were rare for both elective repeat cesarean delivery and trial of labor. Definitive studies are lacking to identify patients who are at greatest risk for adverse outcomes.
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ABSTRACT: To identify predictors of successful trial of labor in women after one low transverse Cesarean delivery and no prior deliveries, and to assess perinatal morbidity associated with a failed vaginal birth after Cesarean delivery (VBAC). Retrospective chart review of women with one low transverse Cesarean delivery in their first pregnancy who delivered their next pregnancy at our institution. Clinical characteristics and intrapartum data were reviewed to identify predictors of successful VBAC. Perinatal outcomes were reviewed to assess morbidity associated with VBAC attempt and failed VBAC. Of 768 women studied, 522 (68%) attempted VBAC and 344 (66%) of these were successful. Uterine rupture occurred in 0.8% of the VBAC group. On initial examination, women with cervical dilation >1 cm, effacement > 50% and station lower than -1 were more likely to deliver vaginally. Women with successful VBAC had more spontaneous labor (85.2 vs. 76.4%, p=0.02) and less oxytocin use (49.7 vs. 70.8%, p < 0.0001). There were no differences in outcomes between failed and successful VBAC, except more frequent 1-min Apgar scores < 5 (10.1 vs. 4.1%, p=0.01) and increased endometritis (9.6 vs. 2%, p=0.0002) with failed VBAC. Compared with elective repeat Cesarean delivery, VBAC attempt was associated with amnionitis (5.9 vs. 0%, p < 0.0001) and low 1- and 5-min Apgar scores (6.1 vs. 2.4%, p=0.03 and 2.3 vs. 0%, p=0.01, respectively), but not endometritis, admission to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), ventilation, intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) or seizures. Failed VBAC had more amnionitis (7.3 vs. 0%, p < 0.0001), postpartum fever (11.2 vs. 2.4%, p=0.0003) and endometritis (9.6 vs. 2.0, p=0.0007) than elective repeat Cesarean delivery and was associated with low 1- and 5-min Apgar scores (10.1 vs 2.4%, p < 0.001 and 2.8 vs. 0%, p=0.01, respectively), but not NICU admission, ventilation, IVH or seizures. Favorable initial pelvic examination, spontaneous labor and a lack of oxytocin use are associated with successful VBAC in women with a single prior low transverse Cesarean delivery and no prior vaginal deliveries. While attempted VBAC and failed VBAC have more maternal infectious morbidity and lower Apgar scores, infant outcomes are similar to those of elective repeat Cesarean delivery.Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 06/2004; 15(6):388-93. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To compare maternal and fetal outcomes after elective repeat Cesarean section versus a trial of labor in women after one prior uterine scar. All women with a previous single low transverse Cesarean section delivered at term with no contraindications to vaginal delivery were retrospectively identified in our database from January 1995 to October 1998. Outcomes were first analyzed by comparing mother-neonate dyads delivered by elective repeat Cesarean section to those undergoing a trial of labor. Secondarily, outcomes of mother-neonatal dyads who achieved a vaginal delivery or failed a trial of labor were compared to those who had elective repeat Cesarean delivery. Of 1408 deliveries, 749/927 (81%) had a successful vaginal birth after a prior Cesarean delivery. There were no differences in the rates of transfusion, infection, uterine rupture and operative injury when comparing trial of labor versus elective repeat Cesarean delivery. Neonates delivered by elective repeat Cesarean delivery were of earlier gestation and had higher rates of respiratory complications (p < 0.05). Mother-neonatal dyads with a failed trial of labor sustained the greatest risk of complications. Overall, neonatal and maternal outcomes compared favorably among women undergoing a trial of labor versus elective repeat Cesarean delivery. The majority of morbidity was associated with a failed trial of labor. Better selection of women likely to have a successful vaginal birth after a prior Cesarean delivery would be expected to decrease the risks of trial of labor.Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 04/2004; 15(4):243-6. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cesarean delivery has become the most frequently performed major operation in the United States. Widespread use of vaginal birth after previous cesarean delivery could potentially eliminate up to one-third of cesareans. However, many physicians have been reluctant to adopt this policy without large studies conclusively demonstrating its safety. This study evaluated the maternal and perinatal outcomes of over 5000 cases of labor after previous cesarean delivery. This multicenter study began in 1984 and initially included nine California hospitals. During the first 2 years, there were 1776 trials of labor resulting in 1314 vaginal births. In January 1986 two additional hospitals joined the collaborative project. Over the next 3 years, there were 3957 trials of labor resulting in 2977 vaginal births at the 11 participating hospitals. During the entire study period, 5733 patients opted for a trial of labor and 4291 (75%) delivered vaginally. There were no maternal deaths in the trial-of-labor group, and perinatal mortality was not significantly different from that of the general obstetric population. These results support the findings of numerous smaller studies that have concluded that the policy of routine repeat cesarean delivery should be abandoned.Obstetrics and Gynecology 12/1990; 76(5 Pt 1):750-4. · 4.80 Impact Factor