[Management of post-term pregnancies: the role for AFI, biophysical score and doppler]

M-V Sénat
Journal de Gynécologie, Obstétrique et Biologie de la Reproduction 2011, 40 (8): 785-95

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the role of ultrasound and doppler assessment in the management of prolonged pregnancies and to state its modalities.

METHOD: Medline, PubMed, embase and the Cochrane library were searched using terms prolonged pregnancy, post date pregnancy amniotic fluid, ultrasound assessment, doppler, biophysical profile.

RESULTS: Single deepest vertical pool measurement is the method of choice of the assessment of amniotic fluid. Indeed, when this method was used, significantly fewer case of oligohydramnios were diagnosed and fewer women had inductions of labor. However, this method is not superior to the amniotic fluid index in the prevention of poor perinatal outcomes. There is a significant difference in the incidence of fetal distress, meconium stained fluid and caesarean section for fetal distress when the amniotic fluid is reduced as compared with normal amniotic fluid. However, sensibility and predictive positive value of oligohydramnios to predict poor perinatal outcomes is moderate. Similary, in most studies, diagnosis of an abnormal uterine, umbilical, aortic or cerebral blood flow doppler was associated with a weak prediction of a poor perinatal outcome. Therefore, we do not recommend its use in management of prolonged pregnancy. There were significantly more diagnosis of oligoamnios and more abnormal antenatal monitoring results in the modified biophysical profile group as compared with the group managed with only single deepest pool but no differences in cord blood gases, neonatal outcome, or in outcomes related to labour and delivery were noted between the two groups. Therefore, biophysical profile including AFI offers no advantage in detecting adverse outcomes and may cause more interventions.

CONCLUSION: Close monitoring of fetal condition including assessment of amniotic fluid by single deepest pool twice a week from 41 weeks of gestation is recommended in the management of prolonged pregnancy. Induction of labor could be considered when oligohydramnios is diagnosed by single deepest pool less than 2 cm.

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