Objective: The null hypothesis is that the use of intrapartum amnioinfusion in labors complicated by the presence of thick meconium and oligohydramnios will not decrease the incidence of fetal distress, cesarean delivery, meconium aspiration, or meconium aspiration syndrome.
Study design: One hundred seventy term and postterm patients with thick meconium and oligohydramnios were randomly chosen to receive amnioinfusion or standard obstetric care without amnioinfusion. The frequency of fetal distress, cesarean section, meconium aspiration, and meconium aspiration syndrome were subject to chi 2 analysis, Student's t test, or Fisher's exact test.
Results: The rate of fetal distress was significantly reduced in the amnioinfusion group compared with controls (three of 85 vs 19 of 85, relative risk 0.15, 95% confidence interval 0.06 to 0.42). The rate of cesarean section for fetal distress was significantly reduced in the amnioinfusion group (two of 85 vs 17 of 85, relative risk 0.118, confidence interval 0.03 to 0.49). The rates of meconium aspiration (four of 85 vs 33 of 85, relative risk 0.12, confidence interval 0.0449 to 0.327) and meconium aspiration syndrome (0 of 85 vs five of 85, relative risk 0.09, confidence interval 0.009 to 0.872) were significantly reduced by amnioinfusion.
Conclusions: Amnioinfusion improves the outcome in pregnancies complicated by thick meconium and oligohydramnios.