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Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2000 Sep;264(2):84-7.

Obstetric and perinatal outcome of pregnancies with term labour and meconium-stained amniotic fluid.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jabal El-Hussein, Amman.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the meconium staining of amniotic fluid (AF) in term of fetal distress, meconium aspiration syndrome, and perinatal morbidity and mortality. In a prospective study at Princess Badeea Teaching Hospital from April to November 1999, women with a singleton cephalic pregnancy of completed 37-42 weeks and with no pre-defined risk factor were recruited into the study. Study patients comprised 390 (10%) patients with meconium and 400 patients as controls but with clear amniotic fluid. Virtually meconium staining of the amniotic fluid was significantly associated with poor neonatal outcome in all outcomes measures assessed. Perinatal mortality increased from 2 per 1000 births with clear AF to 10 per 1000 with meconium (P<0.001). Other adverse outcomes also increased; e. g., severe fetal acidemia, Apgar score < or = 3 at 1 min and 5 min, and meconium aspiration syndrome. Delivery by cesarean section also increased with meconium from 7-14% (P<0.001). We concluded that meconium in the amniotic fluids associated with an obstetric hazard and significantly increase risks of adverse neonatal outcomes. Women with thin meconium in the presence of normal fetal heart rate can be safely managed at the clinical level. Mod-thick meconium alone should alert the obstetrician to a high risk fetal condition. Continuous fetal heart rate monitoring during labour and reassurance of fetal well-being by acid-base assessment were most significant factors in the reduction of meconium aspiration syndrome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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