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J Perinatol. 2016 Jun;36(6):439-42. doi: 10.1038/jp.2015.220. Epub 2016 Jan 21.

Intrapartum intervention rates and perinatal outcomes following successful external cephalic version.

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Mater Research Institute, University of Queensland, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.



To determine intrapartum and perinatal outcomes following successful external cephalic version for breech presentation at term.


This was a retrospective cohort study of outcomes following successful external cephalic version in 411 women at an Australian tertiary maternity unit between November 2008 and March 2015. The study cohort was compared with a control group of 1236 women with cephalic presentation who underwent spontaneous labor. Intrapartum intervention rates and adverse neonatal outcomes were compared between both groups.


The success rate of external cephalic version (ECV) was 66.4%. The spontaneous vaginal delivery rate in the study cohort was 59.4% (224/411) vs 72.8% (900/1236) in the control cohort (P<0.001). Intrapartum intervention rates (emergency cesarean section (CS) and instrumental delivery) were higher in the ECV group (38% vs 27.2%, P<0.001). Rates of emergency CS for non-reassuring fetal status (9.5%, 39/411 vs 4.4%, 54/1236, P⩽0.001) and failure to progress (13.4%, 55/411 vs 4.1%, 51/1236, P<0.001) were higher in the study cohort. Neonatal outcomes were worse in the study cohort-Apgar score <7 at 5 min (2.2%, 9/411 vs 0.6%, 8/1236, P<0.001) and abnormal cord gases (8.5%, 35/411 vs 0.2%, 3/1236, P<0.001). Rates for resuscitation at birth and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit were higher in the study cohort (6.1% vs 4.1% and 1.9% vs 1.1%, respectively) but these were not statistically significant.


Labor following successful ECV is more likely to result in increased intrapartum intervention rates and poorer neonatal outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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