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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1987 Jan;156(1):52-6.

Randomized management of the second nonvertex twin: vaginal delivery or cesarean section.


Sixty twin deliveries after the thirty-fifth gestational week with vertex-breech and vertex-transverse presentations were managed according to a randomization protocol. Thirty-three parturient women (21 vertex-breech and 12 vertex-transverse presentations) were allocated for vaginal delivery and 27 for cesarean section (18 vertex-breech and nine vertex-transverse). Six pairs of twins in the vaginal delivery group were delivered in a different mode than requested by the protocol (two women underwent cesarean section; in four cases the second twin spontaneously changed to vertex presentation). There were no significant differences between 1- and 5-minute Apgar scores and incidence of neonatal morbidity between the second-born twins in both study groups. Firstborn twins had higher 1-minute Apgar scores than the second-born infants irrespective of route of delivery (p less than 0.05). No case of birth trauma or neonatal death was recorded. Maternal febrile morbidity was significantly higher in the cesarean section group than in the vaginal delivery group (40.7% versus 11.1%, p less than 0.05). These results suggest that in twins with vertex-breech or vertex-transverse presentations after the thirty-fifth week of gestational age the neonatal outcome of the second twin was not significantly influenced by the route of delivery.

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