Journal Article
Systematic Review
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The association of assisted reproductive technology with fetal malpresentation: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

BACKGROUND: Since its introduction, assisted reproductive technology (ART) has developed into a common clinical practice around the world; yet it still raises a lot of questions. Throughout time, many researchers have investigated its association with several obstetric incidences and its consequences on perinatal outcomes. The aim of the current meta-analysis was to estimate the correlation between ART procedures and malpresentation of the fetus in singleton pregnancies.

METHODS: The study was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and prospectively registered under the PROSPERO database (CRD42023458084). Five databases (Embase, MEDLINE® , APA PsycInfo, Global Health, Health Management Information Consortium (HMIC)) and two additional sources were searched from inception to 31 May 2023. Quality of the included studies was assessed using the ROBINS-1 scale, whilst quality of evidence by the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) framework. Summative and subgroup data as well as heterogeneity were generated by the Cochrane platform RevMan Web.

RESULTS: Overall, 11 studies were included in the study with a total of 3,360,134 deliveries. Results indicate a higher risk of malpresentation at delivery in fetuses conceived through ART than those conceived naturally (RR: 1.50, (95% confidence interval (CI):1.30, 1.73)). This risk decreased when adjustments for potential confounders were applied (RR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.02, 1.23).

CONCLUSIONS: Based on observational studies, this meta-analysis indicated that singleton pregnancies conceived through ART are associated with higher risk of malpresentation than those conceived naturally, albeit the difference was lower when potential confounders were examined. Thus, future large studies are required to better understand possible reversible and irreversible factors of this relationship.

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