The effect of meconium on perinatal outcome: A prospective analysis

E. Sheiner, A. Hadar, I. Shoham-Vardi, M. Hallak, M. Katz, M. Mazor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the effect of meconium-stained amniotic fluid (AF) on perinatal outcome. Methods: A prospective observational study was performed, comparing perinatal outcome of parturients with thick and thin meconium-stained AF to those with clear AF. Results: The rate of meconium-stained AF was 18.1% (106/586). Of those, 78 (13.3%) patients had thin and 28 (4.8%) had thick meconium-stained AF. The rate of oligohydramnios was significantly higher among pregnancies complicated with thick meconium-stained AF (OR 7.2, 95% CI 2.1-24.1; p = 0.002). A significant linear association, using the Mantel-Haenszel test for linearity, was found between the thickness of the meconium and abnormal fetal heart rate patterns during the first and second stages of labor, low Apgar scores at 1 min and the risk for Cesarean section. A statistically significantly higher risk for neonatal intensive care unit admission was observed among patients with thick meconium as compared to those with clear AF (OR 11.4, 95% CI 2.0-59.3; p = 0.006), even after adjustment for oligohydramnios and abnormal fetal heart rate patterns. Conclusions: Thick, and not thin, meconium-stained AF, was associated with an increased risk for perinatal complications during labor and delivery. Therefore, thick meconium-stained AF should be considered a marker for possible fetal compromise, and lead to careful evaluation of fetal well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetal heart rate patterns
  • Meconium aspiration syndrome
  • Meconium-stained amniotic fluid
  • Neonatal complications
  • Thick meconium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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