Perinatal outcome and amniotic fluid index in the antepartum and intrapartum periods: A meta-analysis

Suneet P. Chauhan, Maureen Sanderson, Nancy W. Hendrix, Everett F. Magann, Lawrence D Devoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

153 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to perform a meta-analysis of studies on the risks of cesarean delivery for fetal distress, 5-minute Apgar score <7, and umbilical arterial pH <7.00 in patients with antepartum or intrapartum amniotic fluid index >5.0 or <5.0 cm. STUDY DESIGN: Using a MEDLINE search, we reviewed all studies published between 1987 and 1997 that correlated antepartum or intrapartum amniotic fluid index with adverse peripartum outcomes. The inclusion criteria were studies in English that associated at least one of the selected adverse outcomes with an amniotic fluid index of ≤5.0 cm versus >5.0 cm. Contingency tables were constructed for each study, and relative risks and standard errors of their logs were calculated. Fixed- effects pooled relative risks were calculated for groups of studies that were homogeneous, whereas random-effects pooled relative risks were calculated for significantly heterogeneous groups of studies. RESULTS: Eighteen reports describing 10,551 patients met our inclusion criteria. An antepartum amniotic fluid index of ≤5.0 cm, in comparison with >5.0 cm, is associated with an increased risk of cesarean delivery for fetal distress (pooled relative risk, 2.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-3.4) and an Apgar score of <7 at 5 minutes (pooled relative risk, 5.2; 95% confidence interval, 2.4-11.3). An intrapartum amniotic fluid index of ≤5.0 cm is also associated with an increased risk of cesarean delivery for fetal distress (pooled relative risk, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 -2.6) and an Apgar score <7 at 5 minutes (pooled relative risk, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-2.7). A poor correlation between the amniotic fluid index and neonatal acidosis was noted in the only study that examined this end point. More than 23,000 patients are necessary to demonstrate that the incidence of umbilical arterial pH <7.00 is 1.5 times higher among those with oligohydramnios in labor than among those with adequate amniotic fluid index (α = 0.05; β = 0.2) CONCLUSIONS: An antepartum or intrapartum amniotic fluid index of ≤5.0 cm is associated with a significantly increased risk of cesarean delivery for fetal distress and a low Apgar score at 5 minutes. There are few reports linking amniotic fluid index and neonatal acidosis, the only objective assessment of fetal well- being. A multicenter study with sufficient power should be undertaken to demonstrate that a low amniotic fluid index is associated with an umbilical arterial pH <7.00.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1473-1478
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume181
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amniotic fluid index
  • Meta-analysis
  • Perinatal outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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