The effect of cesarean section on intraventricular hemorrhage in the preterm infant

Garland D. Anderson, Henrietta S. Bada, David C. Shaver, Carol J. Harvey, Sheldon B. Korones, Seok P. Wong, Kristopher L. Arheart, Hubert L. Magill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Objective: The null hypothesis is that active labor is a more important factor with regard to both timing and progression of periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage than is route of delivery. Infants delivered by cesarean section after entering the active phase of labor will behave in a manner similar to that of previously studied infants delivered vaginally as to when periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage occurs and frequency of progression. Study Design: The 106 infants of 85 women delivered by cesarean section were the subjects of this study. Forty-six infants were in the no-labor group, 33 in the latent-phase labor group, and 27 in the active-phase labor group. Head ultrasonographic examinations were performed at delivery, at 1, 6, 12, and 24 hours, and then daily for the first 7 days of life. Continuous variables were compared by one-way analysis of variance among those infants with no hemorrhage or with periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage. Categoric variables were compared by χ2 analysis and Fisher's exact test when appropriate. A p value of <0.05 was considered significant. Results: There was no difference in the frequency of early hemorrhage (≤1 hour of age), late hemorrhage (>1 hour of age), or overall periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage in the infants not in labor, in latent-phase labor, or in active-phase labor at the time of cesarean section. However, the frequency of grade 3 or 4 hemorrhage and the progression of hemorrhage were significantly higher in the infants whose mothers had an active phase of labor compared with infants whose mothers had no labor or did not progress beyond the latent phase. Infants who had early periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage (<1 hour of age) also had a higher frequency of progression of hemorrhage. Conclusions: Cesarean section before the active phase of labor does not change the overall frequency of hemorrhage but results in a lower frequency of progression to grade 3 or 4 hemorrhage. We do not feel that these data support performing more cesarean sections for preterm delivery as a method of preventing progression of periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage in the preterm infant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1091-1101
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992


  • Periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage
  • active-phase labor
  • cesarean section
  • progression
  • time of hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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