Nuchal cord: from dread towards confident management


  • Shilpa S. K. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shri Venkata Sai Medical College, Mahabubnagar, Telangana, India
  • Sadia Moin Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shri Venkata Sai Medical College, Mahabubnagar, Telangana, India
  • Naima Fatima Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shri Venkata Sai Medical College, Mahabubnagar, Telangana, India



Delivery, Neonatal mortality, Nuchal cord


Background: This study was aimed at observing the outcomes of pregnancies with sonographically detected nuchal cord or cord around the neck at term. Early studies on nuchal cord showed many maternal and neonatal complications. But several recent studies have suggested that maternal and neonatal complications do not increase with nuchal cord at delivery. This ambiguity increases anxiety in treating obstetricians and relatives of pregnant women, thus leading to unnecessary caesarean sections. This study is intended to observe the maternal and neonatal outcomes of 300 pregnant women with sonographically detected nuchal cord at term.

Methods: Prospective observational study where 300 term pregnant women with sonographically detected nuchal cord were observed through delivery at Shri Venkata Sai Medical College, Mahabubnagar, Telangana, during October 2016 to April 2018.

Results: In this study 80.6% women had normal vaginal delivery, 8.3% had LSCS, 11% had instrumental deliveries. 54% had loose nuchal cord, 46% had tight loop of cord.60% had normal CTG, 8% had variable deceleration, 2% late deceleration. Neonatal morbidity was 9.6% and zero neonatal mortality.

Conclusions: The study concluded that the presence of nuchal cord does not adversely affect the mother and the neonate. Presence of nuchal cord per se is not an indication for LSCS. Effect of nuchal cord on neonate is only transient. These women can be allowed for vaginal delivery with routine labour room protocols. Routine sonographycal detection of nuchal cord is not required and if it is reported, it should not dictate obstetric management.


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Original Research Articles