The perils of true knot of the umbilical cord: antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum complications and clinical implications

Alina Weissmann-Brenner*, Raanan Meyer, Noam Domniz, Gabriel Levin, Natav Hendin, Rakefet Yoeli-Ullman, Shali Mazaki-Tovi, Tal Weissbach, Eran Kassif

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: True knot of the umbilical cord (TKUC) is found in 0.3–2.1% of pregnancies and is associated with an increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes. Methods: A retrospective cohort study including all singleton pregnancies delivered from 2011 to 2019 was performed. Diagnosis of TKUC was made postnatally, immediately after delivery of the baby. Comparison was made between pregnancies with and without TKUC regarding maternal, fetal and neonatal adverse outcome. Results: Overall, 867/85,541 (1%) pregnancies were diagnosed with TKUC. Maternal age, BMI, gravidity and parity were significantly higher in pregnancies with TKUC as well as higher rate of induction of labor, meconium-stained amniotic fluid, and delivery prior to 37 weeks. The rate of cesarean deliveries due to non-reassuring-fetal monitor was significantly higher in pregnancies with TKUC. Overall, there were 2.5% IUFD in pregnancies with TKUC vs. 1% in pregnancies without TKUC (p < 0.001). Importantly, the rate of IUFD prior to 37 weeks of gestation was not significantly higher in the group with TKUC, however, the rate of IUFD after 37 weeks of gestation was 10 folds higher in fetuses with TKUC, 0.9% vs. 0.08% (p < 0.001). Significantly, more neonates with TKUC needed phototherapy or suffered from hypoglycemia. There were no differences in the 5 min Apgar scores, admission to the NICU and number of days of hospitalization. Conclusion: Pregnancies complicated with TKUC are associated with a tenfold higher risk of IUFD beyond 37 weeks of gestation. To the results of this study suggest that it would be prudent to induce labor around 37 weeks of gestation in pregnancies with prenatal diagnosis of TKUC. It may be warranted to use continuous fetal monitoring during labor and delivery in those cases were antenatal diagnosis of TKUC is made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-579
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Cesarean section
  • Intrauterine fetal death
  • True knot
  • Umbilical cord


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