Is fetal cerebroplacental ratio an independent predictor of intrapartum fetal compromise and neonatal unit admission? Asma A. Khalil, MD, MRCOG; Jose´ Morales-Rosello, MD; Maddalena Morlando, MD; Hasina Hannan, MD; Amar Bhide, MD, MRCOG; Aris Papageorghiou, MD, MRCOG; Basky Thilaganathan, PhD, MRCOG OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the association between fetal
cerebroplacental ratio (CPR) and intrapartum fetal compromise and admission to the neonatal unit (NNU) in term pregnancies. STUDY DESIGN: This was a retrospective cohort study in a single
tertiary referral center over a 14-year period from 2000 through 2013. The umbilical artery pulsatility index, middle cerebral artery pulsatility index, and CPR were recorded within 2 weeks of delivery. The birthweight (BW) values were converted into centiles and Doppler parameters converted into multiples of median (MoM), adjusting for gestational age using reference ranges. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify, and adjust for, potential confounders. RESULTS: The study cohort included 9772 singleton pregnancies. The
rates of operative delivery for presumed fetal compromise and neonatal admission were 17.2% and 3.9%, respectively. Doppler CPR MoM was significantly lower in pregnancies requiring operative delivery or admission to NNU for presumed fetal compromise (P < .01). On multivariate logistic regression, both CPR MoM and BW centile were independently associated with the risk of operative delivery for presumed fetal compromise (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.67; 95%
confidence interval [CI], 0.52e0.87; P ¼ .003 and adjusted OR, 0.994; 95% CI, 0.992e0.997; P < .001, respectively). The latter associations persisted even after exclusion of small-for-gestationalage cases from the cohort. Multivariate logistic regression also demonstrated that CPR MoM was an independent predictor for NNU admission at term (adjusted OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33e0.92; P ¼ .021), while BW centile was not (adjusted OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.99e1.00; P ¼ .794). The rates of operative delivery for presumed fetal compromise were significantly higher for appropriate-for-gestationalage fetuses with low CPR MoM (22.3%) compared to small-forgestational-age fetuses with normal CPR MoM (17.3%). CONCLUSION: Lower fetal CPR, regardless of the fetal size, was
independently associated with the need for operative delivery for presumed fetal compromise and with NNU admission at term. The extent to which fetal hemodynamic status could be used to predict perinatal morbidity and optimize the mode of delivery merits further investigation. Key words: cerebroplacental ratio, Doppler, fetal compromise, neonatal unit admission, small for gestational age
Cite this article as: Khalil AA, Morales-Rosello J, Morlando M, et al. Is fetal cerebroplacental ratio an independent predictor of intrapartum fetal compromise and neonatal unit admission? Am J Obstet Gynecol 2015;213:54.e1-10.
pproximately 10-15% of cerebral palsy cases result from intrapartum hypoxia.1,2 Despite the clinical importance of intrapartum hypoxia, the antenatal identiﬁcation of the fetus at risk of cerebral palsy and other hypoxiarelated outcomes remains challenging.
The widespread use of intrapartum cardiotocography (CTG) has not led to a reduction in the incidence of cerebral palsy.3,4 Likewise, admission CTG in early labor and amniotic ﬂuid volume assessment have been shown to be of limited value in identifying fetuses at risk
From the Fetal Medicine Unit, St. George’s Hospital, St. George’s University of London, London, United Kingdom. Received June 7, 2014; revised Sept. 24, 2014; accepted Oct. 16, 2014. The authors report no conﬂict of interest. Presented in oral format at the 24th World Congress on Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Barcelona, Spain, Sept. 14-17, 2014, and at the 13th Annual Scientiﬁc Meeting of the Fetal Medicine Foundation, Nice, France, June 29-July 3, 2014. Corresponding author: Asma A. Khalil, MD, MRCOG. [email protected]
0002-9378/$36.00 ª 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2014.10.024
54.e1 American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology JULY 2015
of intrapartum compromise.5,6 Adverse events related to fetal hypoxia, such as cerebral palsy and stillbirth, are known to be more frequent in fetal growth restriction (FGR) secondary to placental insufﬁciency.7,8 In clinical practice where fetal size is often used as a proxy for FGR, small-for-gestationalage (SGA) babies have 4 times the incidence of cesarean delivery for nonreassuring fetal status.9 This approach is limited by the inaccuracy of ultrasound in the detection of SGA fetuses and the ﬁnding that the majority of cerebral palsy cases are, in fact, born with a birthweight (BW) appropriate for gestational age (AGA).10 Antenatal fetal Doppler assessment also appears to be able to predict those SGA pregnancies
ajog.org likely to have cesarean delivery for nonreassuring fetal status.9 We have recently reported that fetal Doppler assessment might also be of value in detecting pregnancies that are AGA, yet complicated by placental insufﬁciency.11 Consistent with these results, Prior et al12 recently demonstrated in a small prospective study that, independent of fetal size, fetal cerebroplacental ratio (CPR) measured within 72 hours of delivery could identify those likely to require obstetric intervention for intrapartum fetal compromise. The main aim of this study was to investigate the association in term pregnancies between fetal CPR and both intrapartum fetal compromise and admission to the neonatal unit (NNU).
This was a retrospective cohort study (retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data) in a single tertiary referral center over a 14-year period from 2000 through 2013. Cases were identiﬁed by searching the ViewPoint database (ViewPoint 126.96.36.1998; ViewPoint Bildverarbeitung GmbH, Weßling, Germany) in the Fetal Medicine Unit, St. George’s Hospital, London, United Kingdom. The inclusion criteria were singleton morphologically normal fetuses born at term (37 weeks’ gestation) that had an ultrasound scan within 2 weeks of delivery. Pregnancies complicated by fetal abnormality, aneuploidy, or stillbirth were excluded from the analysis. Elective cesarean delivery cases were also excluded from the analysis of operative delivery for intrapartum fetal compromise. Gestational age was calculated from the crown-rump length measurement at 11-13 weeks and only one (the last) examination per pregnancy was included in the analysis.13 For the pregnancies where the ﬁrst ultrasound performed was in the second trimester (>14 weeks’ gestation), the pregnancy was dated according to the head circumference. Routine fetal biometry was performed according to a standard protocol and the estimated fetal weight (EFW) calculated using the formula of Hadlock et al.14 The umbilical artery (UA) and middle cerebral artery
(MCA) Doppler waveforms were recorded using color Doppler, and the pulsatility index (PI) was calculated according to a standard protocol.15,16 The CPR was calculated as the simple ratio between the MCA PI and the UA PI.17 All Doppler indices were converted into multiples of median (MoM), correcting for gestational age using reference ranges and BW values were converted into centiles.11,18,19 The study cohort was divided into 4 groups according to a combination of a BW cutoff of the 10th centile and a CPR cutoff of 0.6765 MoM11 to assess the difference between the SGA model, which relies on fetal biometry, and the placental insufﬁciency model, which relies on fetal hemodynamic assessment. Intrapartum data included whether the labor was induced or spontaneous, presence or absence of meconiumstained liquor (grade 2 or 3), CTG abnormalities (classiﬁed according to National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines),20 ST analysis abnormalities,21 use of oxytocin for slow progress of labor, intrapartum pyrexia, intrapartum hemorrhage, use of epidural analgesia for labor, and mode of delivery. Data on maternal baseline characteristics and pregnancy outcomes were collected from hospital obstetric and neonatal
records. The main outcome in this study was operative delivery for presumed fetal compromise. Operative delivery for fetal compromise included both cesarean delivery and instrumental delivery. The second outcome was admission to the NNU. The diagnosis of fetal compromise was based on CTG abnormalities, ST analysis abnormalities, abnormal fetal scalp blood sample pH, or a combination of these. Pregnancies that had an elective cesarean delivery were excluded from the analysis. The study was exempt from review by Wandsworth Research Ethics Committee.
Statistical analysis Categorical data were presented as number (%) and were compared using the Fisher exact test or c2 test. Continuous data were presented as median (interquartile range). The D’Agostino and Pearson omnibus test was used to assess the normality of the data. Nonparametric analysis using MannWhitney U test was then used to compare continuous data between the study groups. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify, and adjust for, potential confounders. We considered both maternal and intrapartum risk factors as important confounders for the 2 outcomes investigated in this study. As
Flowchart of pregnancies included in study according to outcome investigated
Khalil. Fetal Doppler, operative delivery, and neonatal unit admission. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2015.
JULY 2015 American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Characteristics of study cohort according to need for operative delivery for fetal compromise No operative delivery for fetal compromise, n [ 6941
Operative delivery for fetal compromise, n [ 1441
Antenatal variables Maternal age, y, median (IQR) 2
Body mass index, kg/m , median (IQR) Nulliparous, n (%)
.714 < .001
Smoker, n (%)
Alcohol use, n (%)
Ethnicity, n (%)
Drug use, n (%)
Ultrasound and Doppler variables Gestational age at ultrasound, wk, median (IQR)
Interval between scan and delivery, d, median (IQR)
Umbilical artery pulsatility index, median (IQR)
Umbilical artery pulsatility index MoM, median (IQR)
Middle cerebral artery pulsatility index, median (IQR)
Middle cerebral artery pulsatility index MoM, median (IQR)
Cerebroplacental ratio, median (IQR)
Cerebroplacental ratio MoM, median (IQR)