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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 860107, 8 pages
Research Article

Successful External Cephalic Version: Factors Predicting Vaginal Birth

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UKM Medical Centre, Malaysia
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UPM, Malaysia

Received 27 August 2013; Accepted 4 November 2013; Published 22 January 2014

Academic Editors: H. Sheng and M. C. Vallejo

Copyright © 2014 Pei Shan Lim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To determine the maternal and fetal outcomes of successful external cephalic version (ECV) as well as factors predicting vaginal birth. Methods. The ECV data over a period of three years at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC) between 1 September 2008 and 30 September 2010 was reviewed. Sixty-seven patients who had successful ECV were studied and reviewed for maternal, fetal, and labour outcomes. The control group comprised patients with cephalic singletons of matching parity who delivered following the index cases. Results. The mean gestational age at ECV was  days (37.5 weeks ± 6.52 days). Spontaneous labour and transient cardiotocographic (CTG) changes were the commonest early adverse effects following ECV. The reversion rate was 7.46%. The mean gestational age at delivery of the two groups was significantly different ( ) with days and days in the study group and control groups, respectively. The study group needed significantly more inductions of labour. They required more operative deliveries, had more blood loss at delivery, a higher incidence of meconium-stained liquor, and more cord around the neck. Previous flexed breeches had a threefold increase in caesarean section rate compared to previous extended breeches (44.1% versus 15.2%, ). On the contrary, an amniotic fluid index (AFI) of 13 or more is significantly associated with a higher rate of vaginal birth (86.8% versus 48.3%, ). Conclusions. Patients with successful ECV were at higher risk of carrying the pregnancy beyond 40 weeks and needing induction of labour, with a higher rate of caesarean section and higher rates of obstetrics complications. Extended breech and AFI 13 or more were significantly more likely to deliver vaginally postsuccessful ECV. This additional information may be useful to caution a patient with breech that ECV does not bring them to behave exactly like a normal cephalic, so that they have more realistic expectations. However, these predictive factors needed further confirmation and hopefully, in the future, they would be able to further enhance counselling prior to ECV.