To evaluate intrapartum resuscitation interventions and improvement in category II fetal heart rate (FHR) tracings.
This secondary analysis of a randomized trial of intrapartum fetal electrocardiographic ST-segment analysis included all participants with category II FHR tracings undergoing intrauterine resuscitation: maternal oxygen, intravenous fluid bolus, amnioinfusion, or tocolytic administration. Fetal heart rate pattern-recognition software was used to confirm category II FHR tracings 30 minutes before intervention and to analyze the subsequent 60 minutes. The primary outcome was improvement to category I within 60 minutes. Secondary outcomes included FHR tracing improvement to category I 30–60 minutes after the intervention and composite neonatal outcome.
Of 11,108 randomized participants, 2,251 (20.3%) had at least one qualifying intervention for category II FHR tracings: 63.7% improved to category I within 60 minutes and 50.5% improved at 30–60 minutes. Only 3.4% underwent cesarean delivery and 4.1% an operative vaginal delivery for nonreassuring fetal status within 60 minutes after the intervention. Oxygen administration was the most common intervention (75.4%). Among American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists-defined subgroups that received oxygen, the absent FHR accelerations and absent–minimal FHR variability subgroup (n=332) was more likely to convert to category I within 60 minutes than the FHR accelerations or “moderate FHR variability” subgroup (n=1,919) (77.0% vs 63.0%, odds ratio [OR] 2.0, 95% CI 1.4–2.7). The incidence of composite neonatal adverse outcome for category II tracings was 2.9% (95% CI 2.2–3.7%) overall; 2.8% (95% CI 2.0–3.8%) for improvement to category I within 60 minutes (n=1,433); and 3.2% (95% CI 2.1–4.6%) for no improvement within 60 minutes (n=818). However, the group with improvement had 29% lower odds for higher level neonatal care (11.8% vs 15.9%, OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.55–0.91).
Nearly two thirds of category II FHR tracings improved to category I within 60 minutes of intervention with a relatively low overall rate of the composite neonatal adverse outcome.
Funded in part by Neoventa Medical.