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The usefulness of ultrasound assessment of amniotic fluid in predicting adverse outcome in prolonged pregnancy: a prospective blinded observational study

, : The usefulness of ultrasound assessment of amniotic fluid in predicting adverse outcome in prolonged pregnancy: a prospective blinded observational study. Bjog 110(11): 989-994

To determine whether a single ultrasound scan at or beyond 40 weeks of gestation to detect a single deepest pool of amniotic fluid <2 cm and amniotic fluid index (AFI) <5 cm is clinically useful in the prediction of subsequent adverse pregnancy outcome. A prospective double blind cohort study. A university teaching hospital delivering approximately 6000 women annually. One thousand and five hundred and eighty-four pregnant women at or beyond 40 weeks of gestation. Ultrasound assessment of liquor to detect the single deepest pool of amniotic fluid and derive the AFI at or after 40 weeks of gestation. Perinatal death, meconium aspiration, birth asphyxia, intervention in labour for fetal distress, a cord arterial pH <7 and admission to the neonatal unit. An AFI <5 cm but not a single deepest pool <2 cm was significantly associated with birth asphyxia or meconium aspiration. An AFI <5 cm was also significantly associated with caesarean section for fetal distress in labour, a cord arterial pH <7 at delivery and low Apgar scores. Despite there being a statistically significant association with adverse outcomes the sensitivity of AFI was low at 28.6%, 12% and 11.5% for major adverse outcome, fetal distress in labour or admission to the neonatal unit, respectively. The AFI is superior to a measure of the single deepest pool as an assessment of the fetus at or after 40 weeks but has a poor sensitivity for adverse pregnancy outcome. Routine use is likely to lead to increased obstetric intervention without improvement in perinatal outcomes.


PMID: 14592583

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