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Antenatal risk score for prediction of shoulder dystocia with focus on fetal ultrasound data

      Background

      Shoulder dystocia is one of the most threatening complications during delivery, and although it is difficult to predict, individual risk should be considered when counseling for mode of delivery.

      Objective

      This study aimed to develop and validate a risk score for shoulder dystocia based on fetal ultrasound and maternal data from 15,000 deliveries.

      Study Design

      Data were retrospectively obtained of deliveries in 3 tertiary centers between 2014 and 2017 for the derivation cohort and between 2018 and 2020 for the validation cohort. Inclusion criteria were singleton pregnancy, vaginal delivery in cephalic presentation at ≥37+0 weeks’ gestation, and fetal biometry data available within 2 weeks of delivery. Independent predictors were determined by multivariate regression analysis in the derivation cohort, and a score was developed on the basis of the effect of the predictors.

      Results

      The derivation cohort consisted of 7396 deliveries with a 0.91% rate of shoulder dystocia, and the validation cohort of 7965 deliveries with a 1.0% rate of shoulder dystocia. Among all women, 13.8% had diabetes mellitus, and 12.1% were obese (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2). Independent risk factors in the derivation cohort were: estimated fetal weight ≥4250 g (odds ratio, 4.27; P=.002), abdominal-head-circumference ≥2.5 cm (odds ratio, 3.96; P<.001), and diabetes mellitus (odds ratio, 2.18; P=.009). On the basis of the strength of effect, a risk score was developed: estimated fetal weight ≥4250 g=2, abdominal-head-circumference ≥2.5 cm=2, and diabetes mellitus=1. The risk score predicted shoulder dystocia with moderate discriminatory ability (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve, 0.69; P<.001; area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve, 0.71; P<.001) and good calibration (Hosmer–Lemeshow goodness-of-fit; P=.466; P=.167) for the derivation and validation cohorts, respectively. With 1 score point, 16 shoulder dystocia cases occurred in 1764 deliveries, with 0.6% shoulder dystocia incidence and a number needed to treat with cesarean delivery to avoid 1 case of shoulder dystocia of 172 (2 points: 38/1809, 2.1%, 48; 3 points: 18/336, 5.4%, 19; 4 points: 10/96, 10.5%, 10; and 5 points: 5/20, 25%, 4); 40.8% of the shoulder dystocia cases occurred without risk factors.

      Conclusion

      The presented risk score for shoulder dystocia may act as a supplemental tool for the clinical decision-making regarding mode of delivery. According to our score model, in pregnancies with a score ≤2, meaning having solely estimated fetal weight ≥4250 g, or abdominal-head-circumference ≥2.5, or diabetes mellitus, cesarean delivery for prevention of shoulder dystocia should not be recommended because of the high number needed to treat to avoid 1 case of shoulder dystocia. Conversely, in patients with a score of ≥4 with or without diabetes mellitus, cesarean delivery may be considered. However, in 40% of the shoulder dystocia cases, no risk factors had been present.

      Key words

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