Published: 2016-12-27

Antenatal umbilical cord parameters and perinatal outcome

Athira Narayanan, Priya Ballal, Nikil Shetty, Pralhad Kushtagi


Background: The objective of the study was to study the association between antenatally determined umbilical cord thickness and coiling index at/after 34 weeks of gestation and the measures of perinatal outcome.

Methods: Umbilical cord thickness and coiling index were determined sonographically at or after 34 weeks of gestation in 100 singleton pregnancies. The influence of the antenatal cord findings was analyzed for their associations with measures of perinatal outcome in high and low risk pregnancies. Intrapartum fetal heart rate abnormalities, meconium staining of liquor, birth weight, Apgar score and the need for neonatal intensive care (NICU) admission were considered as measures of perinatal outcome.

Results: Mean cord thickness was 1.62 ± 0.26 cm and the coiling index was 0.42 ± 0.08 in the present observation of 100 cord sonographies. There were 39 pregnancies with high risk attributes. High risk pregnancies were found to have higher proportion of cases with lean (<1.3 cm; p = 0.04) and hypercoiled cord (>0.5; p = 0.00). Among individual associations thicker cord (>1.9 cm) and macrosomia (p = 0.01), hypercoiled cord and polyhydramnios (p = 0.02) were significant. More number of primigravidas were seen to have hypercoiled cord (p = 0.04). Association between cord parameters and meconium stained amniotic fluid, low Apgar score or NICU requirement could not be established.

Conclusions: No association between antenatal umbilical cord characteristics and perinatal outcome was found in pregnancies at high risk for poor perinatal outcome.


Umbilical cord thickness, Coiling index, Perinatal outcome, Meconium stained amniotic fluid, High risk pregnancy

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