JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Mode of delivery after successful external cephalic version: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Marcella de Hundt, Joost Velzel, Christianne J de Groot, Ben W Mol, Marjolein Kok
Obstetrics and Gynecology 2014, 123 (6): 1327-1334
24807332

OBJECTIVE: To assess the mode of delivery in women after a successful external cephalic version by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis.

DATA SOURCES: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, ClinicalTrials.gov, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and the Cochrane Library for studies reporting on the mode of delivery in women after successful external cephalic version at term and women with a spontaneous cephalic-presenting fetus.

METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION: Two reviewers independently selected studies, extracted data, and assessed study quality. The association between mode of delivery and successful external cephalic version was expressed as a common odds ratio with a 95% confidence interval (CI).

TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS: We identified three cohort studies and eight case-control studies, reporting on 46,641 women. The average cesarean delivery rate for women with a successful external cephalic version was 21%. Women after successful external cephalic version were at increased risk for cesarean delivery for dystocia (odds ratio [OR] 2.2, 95% CI 1.6-3.0), cesarean delivery for fetal distress (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.6-2.9), and instrumental vaginal delivery (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.7).

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Women who have had a successful external cephalic version for breech presentation are at increased risk for cesarean delivery and instrumental vaginal delivery as compared with women with a spontaneous cephalic presentation. Nevertheless, with a number needed to treat of three, external cephalic version still remains a very efficient procedure to prevent a cesarean delivery.

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