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Unintended uterine extension at the time of cesarean delivery - risk factors and associated adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: To identify risk factors, maternal and neonatal adverse outcomes related to unintended lower segment uterine extension during cesarean delivery (CD).

METHODS: A retrospective cohort analysis in a single, university-affiliated medical center between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2019. All singleton pregnancies delivered by CD were included. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify maternal and obstetrical predictors for uterine extension during CD. For secondary outcomes, we assessed the correlation between uterine extension and any adverse maternal or neonatal outcome. Risk factors were analyzed using ROC statistics to measure their prediction performance for a uterine extension.

RESULTS: Overall, 1746 (19.3%) CDs were performed during the study period. Of them, 121 (6.9%) CDs were complicated by unintended uterine extension. There was no difference in maternal demographics and clinical data stratified by uterine extension at CD. Uterine extensions were significantly more common following induction of labor, intrapartum fever, premature rupture of membranes, a trial of labor after cesarean, advanced gestational age, emergent CD, and in particular CD during the second stage of labor (37.2% vs. 6.5%) and after failed vacuum extraction (6.6% vs. 1.1%), p  < .05 for all. The incidence of postpartum hemorrhage and re-laparotomy did not differ between the groups. Most of the extensions were caudal-directed (40.4%), and were closed by a two-layer closure (92%). Mean extension size was 4.5 ± 1.7 cm. Using multivariable analysis, the only factor that remained significant was CD at the second stage of labor (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 54.2, 95% CI 4.5-648.9, p  = .002), with an area under the ROC curve 0.653 (95% CI 0.595-0.712, p  < .001). Emergent CD, body mass index, birth weight, failed vacuum attempt, and trial of labor after cesarean were not significant. For secondary outcomes, an unintended uterine extension was associated with longer operation time, higher estimated blood loss, greater pre- to post-CD hemoglobin difference, increased blood products transfusion, puerperal fever, and longer hospital stay. No clinically significant neonatal adverse outcomes were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: In our cohort, second-stage CD was the strongest predictor for an unintended uterine extension. Following uterine extension, women had increased infectious and blood-loss morbidity.

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