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Mediolateral episiotomy and risk of obstetric anal sphincter injuries and adverse neonatal outcomes during operative vaginal delivery in nulliparous women: a propensity-score analysis

Abstract : Background: The potential protective effect of mediolateral episiotomy for obstetrical anal sphincter injuries (OASIs) remains controversial during operative vaginal delivery because of the difficulties to take into account the risk factors and clinical conditions at delivery; in addition, little is known about the potential benefits of mediolateral episiotomy on neonatal outcomes. The objectives were to investigate the associations between mediolateral episiotomy and both OASIs and neonatal outcomes, using propensity scores. Methods: We performed a retrospective population-based observational study from a perinatal registry that includes all births in a French region between 2010 and 2017. All nulliparous women with singleton pregnancy delivering by operative vaginal deliveries at 37 weeks gestational age or later were included. Inverse-probability-of-treatment weighting with propensity scores was used to minimize indication bias. OASIs was defined as third and fourth-degree tears according to Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Two neonatal outcomes were studied: condition at birth (5-min Apgar score less than 7 and/or umbilical artery pH less than 7.10), and admission to neonatal intensive care unit. Results: The study population consisted of 7589 women; 2880 (38.0%) received mediolateral episiotomy. After applying propensity scores, episiotomy was associated with a lower rate of OASIs in forceps/spatula delivery (2.3 vs 6.8%, Risk Ratio (RR) 0.38, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.28-0.52) and in vacuum delivery (1.3 vs 3.4%, RR 0.27, 95% CI 0.20-0.38) as compared with no episiotomy. Mediolateral episiotomy was associated with better condition at birth in case of forceps/spatula delivery (4.5 vs 8.8%, RR 0.56, 95% CI 0.39-0.81). In cases of fetal distress (40.7%), mediolateral episiotomy was associated with better condition of infant at birth in women who delivered by forceps/spatula (4.2 vs 13.5%, RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.31-0.89). No association was found with neonatal unit admission (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.50-1.74).
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-03555330
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 3, 2022 - 3:26:26 PM
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Thomas Desplanches, Laetitia Marchand-Martin, Emilie-Denise Szczepanski, Marie Ruillier, Jonathan Cottenet, et al.. Mediolateral episiotomy and risk of obstetric anal sphincter injuries and adverse neonatal outcomes during operative vaginal delivery in nulliparous women: a propensity-score analysis. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, BioMed Central, 2022, 22 (1), pp.48. ⟨10.1186/s12884-022-04396-6⟩. ⟨inserm-03555330⟩

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