Background. Many fetuses below the 10th percentile for gestational age are uncompromised. We aimed to evaluate the mode of delivery and immediate neonatal outcome in pregnancies with suspected fetal growth restriction (FGR) and normal antenatal assessment following induction of labor with vaginal application of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Methods. Ninety women with suspected FGR (sonographic estimated fetal weight < 10th percentile) with normal oxytocin contraction test (OCT), biophysical profile (BPP) and reassuring fetal heart rate underwent induction of labor with vaginal application of PGE2 tablets. The findings were compared with 115 women admitted for induction of labor because of decreased fetal movement (group 2) and with 510 women with normal spontaneous onset of labor (group 3). Results. There were no between-group differences in mean maternal age, gravidity, parity, nulliparity rate, number of tablets used or rate of patients receiving more than one PGE2 application. The rate of cesarean section (CS) in the study group (8.9%) was similar to the rate in groups 2 and 3 (14.8% and 9.0%, respectively). The incidence of nonreassuring fetal heart rate pattern leading to cesarean delivery was higher in the study group, but the rate of low 5-min Apgar scores (< 7) was similar in all groups. A logistic regression model and forward likelihood analysis yielded no single significant variable associated with increased risk of cesarean delivery. Conclusions. In selected cases of suspected FGR with reassuring fetal heart rate and normal OCT and BPP, induction of labor with vaginal PGE2 may yield a similar immediate fetal outcome and CS rate as in uncomplicated, induced or spontaneous deliveries.
- Fetal growth restriction