Maternal and neonatal morbidity: repeat Cesarean versus a trial of labour after previous Cesarean delivery

Yue-Zhou Yang, Xu-Ping Ye, Xiao-Xi Sun


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to perform a meta-analysis comparing the rates of uterine rupture, and other maternal and neonatal complications, between women who undergo a trial of labour (TOL) after a prior Cesarean delivery and those to undergo elective repeat Cesarean delivery (ERCD).

Source: Medline, Cochrane, EMBASE and Google Scholar were searched until May 6, 2015 using the keywords/phrases: trial of labour, Cesarean section, elective, repeat, pregnancy and vaginal birth. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), two-arm prospective studies, one-arm studies and retrospective studies were included. The primary outcome was uterine rupture.

Principal findings: Sixteen studies were included in the meta-analysis. TOL after prior Cesarean delivery was associated with higher odds of uterine rupture as compared with ERCD (Peto odds ratio [OR] = 4.685, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.077 to 7.133, p < 0.001). TOL was associated with a higher rate of endometritis, a lower rate of hysterectomy, and a lower rate of respiratory problems in newborns. There were no differences between the groups with respect to neonatal intensive care unit admissions, postpartum hemorrhage, thromboembolic disease, sepsis and neonatal mortality.

Conclusions: TOL may be associated with a higher risk of uterine rupture and endometritis, but lower risk of hysterectomy and neonatal respiratory problems than ERCD.

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