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Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Sep;44(3):609-21.

Risk factors for uterine rupture during a trial of labor after cesarean.

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  • 1Center for Perinatal Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 75 Francis Street, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The rate of vaginal birth among women with a previous cesarean increased from 18.9% in 1989 to 28.3% in 1996. By 1998, the rate had decreased to 26.3% and preliminary data from 1999 suggest that the rate for that year would be even lower (23.4%). It is not known whether that decrease represents a trend related to increasing concern by providers and women about the risk of uterine rupture. Whereas the overall risk of rupture is 1%, our review demonstrates that there is considerable variation of that risk. More than one previous scar, induction of labor, a short interdelivery interval, or a history of postpartum fever during a previous cesarean may increase the risk of a uterine rupture during a trial of labor. However, there does not appear to be an increase in risk associated with low-vertical scars, and a previous vaginal delivery may be somewhat protective. Further delineation of the factors that increase the risk of uterine rupture will permit better prediction of individualized risk and identification of women for whom attempting a vaginal delivery after cesarean represents a safe option.

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