Objective: Our purpose was to review the extended experience of a single maternal-fetal medicine practice with delayed-interval delivery.
Study design: We completed a retrospective review of our maternal-fetal medicine practice database from January 1991 through March 1999. Patients were derived from both primary and consultative practices. All patients were managed with tocolysis, antibiotics, and cerclage after delivery of the first fetus(es). Retained siblings were investigated by amniocentesis to exclude intra-amniotic infection.
Results: Twenty-four consecutive patients had attempted delayed-interval delivery. Exclusion criteria for delayed-interval delivery included monochorionicity, abruptio placentae, severe preeclampsia, and the need for hysterotomy. The mean latency interval was 36 days, with a range of 3 to 123 days. Additionally, patients with previous cerclage(s) had significantly shorter mean latency intervals than patients without previous cerclage(s). Patients with long latency intervals (> or =49 days) had earlier births of the first fetus.
Conclusion: Selected multichorionic pregnancies may benefit from delayed-interval delivery. Patients with previous cervical cerclage(s) during the index pregnancy are less likely to achieve significant latency intervals. Even modest intervals between births of siblings at critical gestational ages can improve neonatal survival and decrease neonatal morbidity.