Lactate in Amniotic Fluid: Predictor of Labor Outcome in Oxytocin-Augmented Primiparas' Deliveries
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPLOS ONE. 2016, 11 (10), . 10.1371/journal.pone.0161546
Background One of the major complications related to delivery is labor dystocia, or an arrested labor progress. Many dystocic deliveries end vaginally after administration of oxytocin, but a large numbers of women with labor dystocia will undergo a long and unsafe parturition. As a result of the exertion required in labor, the uterus produces lactate. The uterine production of lactate is mirrored by the level of lactate in amniotic fluid (AFL). Objectives To evaluate whether the level of AFL, analysed in a sample of amniotic fluid collected vaginally at arrested labor when oxytocin was needed, could predict labor outcome in nulliparous deliveries. Methods A prospective multicentre study including 3000 healthy primiparous women all with a singleton pregnancy, gestational age 37 to 42 weeks and no maternal /fetal chronic and/or pregnancy-related conditions. A spontaneous onset of labor, regular contractions and cervical dilation ≥ 3 cm were required before the women were invited to take part in the study. Results AFL, analysed within 30 minutes before augmentation, provides information about delivery outcome. Sensitivity for an acute cesarean section according to high (≥10.1mmol/l) or low (< 10.1mmol/l) AFL values was 39.0% (95% CI; 27–50), specificity 90.3% (95% CI; 87–93) PPV 37.3% (95% CI; 27–48) and NPV was 91.0% (95% CI; 88–93). The overall percentage of correct predictions of delivery outcome when the AFL level was used was 83.7%. Deliveries with a high AFL-level correlated with delivery time >12h (p = 0.04), post-partum fever (>38°C, p = 0.01) and post-partum haemorrhage >1.5L (p = 0.04). Conclusion The AFL is a good predictor of delivery outcome in arrested nulliparous deliveries. Low levels of AFL may support the decision to continue a prolonged vaginal labor by augmentation with oxytocin. A high level of AFL correlates with operative interventions and post-partum complications.