Timing intrapartum management based on the evolution and duration of fetal heart rate patterns
One of the most important challenges in obstetrics is to determine the appropriate time to deliver the fetus without exposing the mother to unnecessary operative interventions. The use of continuous cardiotocography (cCTG) during labor has resulted in dramatic reductions in intrapartum fetal deaths, but fetal central nervous system (CNS) injury and cerebral palsy (CP) rates have remain relatively unchanged as related to the use of cCTG . In our view, this is due to continuing inability to recognize progressive fetal deterioration and intervene promptly prior to the development of fetal CNS injury. Although the 2008 NICHD workshop proposed a 3-tier classification system, most fetuses born with severe (pathologic) acidemia (cord artery pH < 7.00), as well as those who eventually develop CP, will never reach the stage of NICHD Category III fetal heart rate (FHR) pattern. In the present "Clinical Opinion," we promote a concept derived from observations, that the evolution of the FHR changes of the deteriorating fetus can be visually defined by three color "zones" that are clinically recognizable and, therefore, are actionable. In addition, we will review information regarding how long the fetus may be able to tolerate an abnormal FHR pattern before it suffers an adverse perinatal outcome, an area of investigation that has been rarely addressed before. Based on the available evidence, Category III FHR patterns should not be used as screening criteria because of low sensitivity for either fetal CNS injury (45%) or severe (pathologic) fetal acidemia (36-44%). In addition, the duration of the Category III pattern required for the development of severe fetal acidemia is extremely short to allow for a timely preventative operative intervention. On the contrary, the use of our proposed "red" zone, which includes the most advanced stages in the progressive deterioration of Category II patterns and Category III, will identify the overwhelming majority of fetuses who develop severe (pathologic) acidemia (96%) and/or CNS injury during labor (100%); moreover, the detection of fetal jeopardy by the use of the "red" zone occurs much earlier, as compared to using Category III, thus allowing reasonable amount of time for a timely obstetrical intervention. Further research is needed to determine the false positive rate and positive predictive value for a pre-determined period of time in the red zone.
Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Among Individuals With and Without Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2): A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
OBJECTIVE:To compare the risk of intrauterine fetal death (20 weeks of gestation or later) and neonatal death among individuals who tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) compared with those who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 on admission for delivery. DATA SOURCES:MEDLINE, Ovid, EMBASE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health, and Cochrane Library were searched from their inception until July 17, 2020. Hand search for additional articles continued through September 24, 2020. ClinicalTrials.gov was searched on October 21, 2020. METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION:The inclusion criteria were publications that compared at least 20 cases of both pregnant patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on admission to labor and delivery and those who tested negative. Exclusion criteria were publications with fewer than 20 individuals in either category or those lacking data on primary outcomes. A systematic search of the selected databases was performed, with co-primary outcomes being rates of intrauterine fetal death and neonatal death. Secondary outcomes included rates of maternal and neonatal adverse outcomes. TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS:Of the 941 articles and completed trials identified, six studies met criteria. Our analysis included 728 deliveries to patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 3,836 contemporaneous deliveries to patients who tested negative. Intrauterine fetal death occurred in 8 of 728 (1.1%) patients who tested positive and 44 of 3,836 (1.1%) who tested negative (P=.60). Neonatal death occurred in 0 of 432 (0.0%) patients who tested positive and 5 of 2,400 (0.2%) who tested negative (P=.90). Preterm birth occurred in 95 of 714 (13.3%) patients who tested positive and 446 of 3,759 (11.9%) who tested negative (P=.31). Maternal death occurred in 3 of 559 (0.5%) patients who tested positive and 8 of 3,155 (0.3%) who tested negative (P=.23). CONCLUSION:The incidences of intrauterine fetal death and neonatal death were similar among individuals who tested positive compared with negative for SARS-CoV-2 when admitted to labor and delivery. Other immediate outcomes of the newborns were also similar among those born to individuals who tested positive compared with negative for SARS-CoV-2. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:PROSPERO, CRD42020203475.
COVID-19 Infection and Placental Histopathology in Women Delivering at Term
BACKGROUND:- There is a paucity of data describing the effects of COVID-19, especially in asymptomatic patients, on placental pathology. Although the pathophysiology of COVID-19 is not completely understood, there is emerging evidence that it causes a severe systemic inflammatory response and results in a hypercoagulable state with widespread microthrombi. We hypothesized that it is plausible that a similar disease process may occur in the fetal-maternal unit. OBJECTIVE:- The aim of this study was to determine whether COVID-19 in term patients admitted to Labor and Delivery, including women without COVID-19 symptomatology, is associated with increased placental injury compared to a cohort of COVID-19 negative controls. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:- This was a retrospective cohort study performed at NYU Winthrop Hospital between 3/31/2020 and 6/17/2020. During the study period all women admitted to Labor and Delivery were routinely tested for SARS-CoV-2 regardless of symptomatology. The placental histopathological findings of COVID-19 patients (n=77) who delivered a singleton gestation at term were compared to a control group of term patients without COVID-19 (n=56). Controls were excluded if they had obstetric or medical complications including fetal growth restriction, oligohydramnios, hypertension, diabetes, coagulopathy or thrombophilia. Multivariable logistic regression models were performed for variables that were significant in univariable analyses. A subgroup analysis was also performed comparing asymptomatic COVID-19 cases to negative controls. RESULTS:- In univariable analyses, COVID-19 cases were more likely to have evidence of fetal vascular malperfusion, i.e. presence of avascular villi and/or mural fibrin deposition (32.5% (25/77) vs. 3.6% (2/56), p<0.0001) and villitis of unknown etiology (20.8% (16/77) vs. 7.1% (4/56), p=0.030). These findings persisted in a subgroup analysis of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases compared to COVID-19 negative controls. In a multivariable model adjusting for maternal age, race/ethnicity, mode of delivery, preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction and oligohydramnios, the frequency of fetal vascular malperfusion abnormalities remained significantly higher in the COVID-19 group (OR= 12.63, 95% CI [2.40, 66.40]). While the frequency of villitis of unknown etiology was more than double in COVID-19 cases compared to controls, this did not reach statistical significance in a similar multivariable model (OR=2.11, 95% CI [0.50, 8.97]). All neonates of mothers with COVID-19 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR. CONCLUSIONS:- Despite the fact that all neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 were negative for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR, we found that COVID-19 in term patients admitted to Labor and Delivery is associated with increased rates of placental histopathologic abnormalities, particularly fetal vascular malperfusion and villitis of unknown etiology. These findings appear to occur even among asymptomatic term patients.
Identification of Factors Associated with Delayed Treatment of Obstetric Hypertensive Emergencies
Is there an association between postoperative cervical length after cerclage and gestational age at delivery? [Meeting Abstract]
EMR clinical decision support tools improve compliance with venous thromboembolism risk assessment in obstetrical patients [Meeting Abstract]
Confirmatory evidence of visualization of SARS-CoV-2 virus invading the human placenta using electron microscopy [Letter]
Impact of cesarean delivery due to maternal choice on perinatal outcome in term nulliparous patients with a singleton fetus in a vertex presentation
OBJECTIVE:The objectives of our study were to: (1) evaluate the prevalence of cesarean delivery due to maternal request among nulliparous, term, singleton, vertex (NTSV) patients; (2) identify the clinical profile, if any, of these patients; and (3) compare the perinatal outcomes between NTSV patients who requested a cesarean delivery versus patients who did not request cesarean delivery. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:This was a retrospective case control study performed at a single institution between November 2018 and July 2019. All NTSV patients who had a cesarean delivery due to maternal choice were identified and compared to the next two NTSV patients in labor who delivered vaginally or by medically indicated cesarean delivery following a cesarean delivery by maternal choice. The primary outcome was composite neonatal morbidity. Secondary outcomes were individual components of composite neonatal and maternal morbidity. RESULTS:â€‰<â€‰.01). There was no significant difference in composite neonatal morbidity between cases and controls (6.6% vs. 5.7%, adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.96, 95% CI 0.25-3.61). The risk for postpartum hemorrhage requiring blood transfusion was higher (but not statistically significant) in the study group (5.0% vs. 0.0%, aOR 6.43, 95% CI: 0.65-63.24). Patients who chose cesarean delivery during the intrapartum period had a higher (but not statistically significant) composite neonatal morbidity (14.3% vs. 5.7%, aOR 2.24, 95% CI 0.52-9.78) and composite maternal morbidity (28.6% vs.11.8%, aOR 2.90, 95% CI 0.92-9.16) and significantly higher transfusion rate (aOR 16.93, 95% CI 1.53-187.74). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Cesarean delivery by maternal choice in NTSV patients is not associated with improved neonatal outcomes; in contrast, it is associated with increased composite maternal morbidity and increased transfusion rate.
Reply to the letter to the editor [Letter]
Reply to: Letter to the Editor: Screening All Pregnant Women Admitted to Labor and Delivery for the Virus Responsible for COVID-19 [Letter]