Prospective study for evaluation of the impact of umbilical cord length with fetal outcome

Masarat Rashid., Sabia Gul., Rabia Khurshid and Abida Ahmad

Objective: The length of umbilical cord and its position in amniotic sac correspond to anomalies in fetus has been a debatable subject to differences and untoward gestational outcome. To evaluate the relationship between umbilical cord length and its impact on the maternal and perinatal outcomes, we conducted a prospective the Department of Gynacology and Obstetric, SK Institute of Medical Sciences (J&K, India)
Material and Method: The study included 1000 cases wherein the umbilical cord length was evaluated and examination of umbilical cord was done to mark its location. Further cord looping around neck, trunk along with number of loops of cord and positions were determined for any cord abnormalities. All the necessary fetal characteristics were noted like sex, placental weight, and length of the newborn. Fetal outcome studied by Apgar score at 1 and 5 min was also recorded.
Results: We found cases presented with a varied cord length from 21 to 125 cm. The mean cord length was 63.86 cm (±15.69 cm) i.e., 25.14” while as the median cord length was reported as 55 cm. Majority of cases (27.4 %) were found to have a cord length in the range between 51 and 60 cm. The long cord was found in 55(5.5%) cases as against 61 (6.1%) with short cords while as 884 (88.4%) cases presented with normal cord length. The incidence of all types of cord complications increases as the cord length increases (p < 0.001*). There is increased incidence of fetal heart rate abnormalities with extremes of cord length (p < 0.001). The incidence of birth asphyxia was significantly more in long and short cords as compared to cords with normal cord length (p < 0.001). Cord length did not vary according to the weight, length, and sex of the baby
Conclusion: Increasing rates of cord complications, higher incidence of operative interference, intrapartum complications, increased fetal heart rate abnormalities, and more chances of birth asphyxia were associated with abnormal cord length

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