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BJOG. 2013 Aug;120(9):1123-32. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12278. Epub 2013 May 20.

Elective caesarean section at 38 weeks versus 39 weeks: neonatal and maternal outcomes in a randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark. julie.glavind@dadlnet.dk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate whether elective caesarean section before 39 completed weeks of gestation increases the risk of adverse neonatal or maternal outcomes.

DESIGN:

Randomised controlled multicentre open-label trial.

SETTING:

Seven Danish tertiary hospitals from March 2009 to June 2011.

POPULATION:

Women with uncomplicated pregnancies, a single fetus, and a date of delivery estimated by ultrasound scheduled for delivery by elective caesarean section.

METHODS:

Perinatal outcomes after elective caesarean section scheduled at a gestational age of 38 weeks and 3 days versus 39 weeks and 3 days (in both groups ±2 days).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The primary outcome was neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission within 48 hours of birth. Secondary outcomes were neonatal depression, NICU admission within 7 days, NICU length of stay, neonatal treatment, and maternal surgical or postpartum adverse events.

RESULTS:

Among women scheduled for elective caesarean section at 38⁺³ weeks 88/635 neonates (13.9%) were admitted to the NICU, whereas in the 39⁺³ weeks group 76/637 neonates (11.9%) were admitted (relative risk [RR] 0.86, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.65-1.15). Neonatal treatment with continuous oxygen for more than 1 day (RR 0.31; 95% CI 0.10-0.94) and maternal bleeding of more than 500 ml (RR 0.79; 95% CI 0.63-0.99) were less frequent in the 39 weeks group, but these findings were insignificant after adjustment for multiple comparisons. The risk of adverse neonatal or maternal outcomes, or a maternal composite outcome (RR 1.1; 95% CI 0.79-1.53) was similar in the two intervention groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study found no significant reduction in neonatal admission rate after ECS scheduled at 39 weeks compared with 38 weeks of gestation.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00835003.

KEYWORDS:

Elective caesarean section; maternal outcomes; neonatal intensive care unit admission; neonatal outcomes; timing

PMID:
23682628
DOI:
10.1111/1471-0528.12278
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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