Objective: Before parturition are there useful and valid predictors of successful or unsuccessful vaginal birth after previous cesarean birth that could be used to enhance the obstetric care of a patient and her pregnancy?
Study design: The clinical course and outcome of all patients who attempted vaginal birth after cesarean delivery at one level III center during 1989 were evaluated to identify factors prognostic of a successful or unsuccessful patient group; use of this information in stepwise logistic regression and cluster analysis was disappointing.
Results: No single criterion or optimal clusters of factors were found and no equation achieved greater than 75% predictability of outcome with acceptable sensitivity and specificity.
Conclusions: Before parturition prediction of outcome of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery is tenuous regardless of past obstetric history or recent clinical parameters. Thus it seems appropriate to encourage a trial of labor in almost all patients with a prior low-segment uterine incision (transverse or vertical) unless there is a strong physician or patient-derived contraindication to such an undertaking.