Meconium-stained amniotic fluid: Increased risk for adverse neonatal outcome

Michael D. Berkus, Oded Langer, Arnon Samueloff, Elly M.J. Xenakis, Nancy T. Field, Louis E. Ridgway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the risk of adverse neonatal outcome associated with meconium-stained amniotic fluid independent of that related to antepartum or intrapartum abnormalities. Methods: A cohort of 2200 consecutive deliveries was examined and the fetal heart rate (FHR) tracings analyzed independently. Singleton term pregnancies without fatal malformations were stratified by the consistency of meconium and compared. Results: Moderate or thick meconium increased the risk for adverse outcome more than threefold (relative risk 3.2, 95% confidence interval 2.0-5.2). This risk was independent of fetal heart tracing abnormalities or maternal hypertensive, kidney, or heart disease. Conclusion: Thick meconium alone should alert the physician to a high-risk fetal condition. This phenomenon requires continuous FHR monitoring and reassurance of fetal well-being by acid-base assessment or the equivalent, regardless of maternal disease status or the presence of abnormal FHR tracings. (Obstet Gynecol 1994;84:115-20).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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