Objective: To assess neonatal and 2-year outcomes for preterm twins born after planned vaginal delivery compared with planned cesarean delivery.
Methods: Women with preterm cephalic first twins delivered after preterm labor or preterm prelabor rupture of membranes from 24 0/7 to 34 6/7 weeks of gestation, with both fetuses alive at the beginning of labor, were identified from the national prospective population-based Etude Epidémiologique sur les Petits Ages Gestationnels 2 cohort study. Planned vaginal delivery was defined as vaginal delivery or cesarean delivery performed during labor. Planned cesarean delivery was considered if performed during labor for the indication of preterm twins or before labor whatever the indication. A propensity score analysis was used to compare planned vaginal delivery and planned cesarean delivery. Outcomes analyzed separately for the first and second twins were survival at discharge, survival at discharge without severe morbidity, and survival at 2 years of corrected age without neurosensory impairment.
Results: Among the 932 women with a twin pregnancy, 549 were excluded mainly as a result of the first twin in noncephalic presentation, cause of delivery other than preterm labor or preterm prelabor rupture of membranes, at least one twin died before labor, and gestational age at delivery less than 24 weeks of gestation. The planned vaginal delivery group included 276 women and the planned cesarean delivery group 107. For first and second twins, survival at discharge (97.7% vs 98.3% and 95.6% vs 97.1%, respectively), survival at discharge without severe morbidity (91.6% vs 88.8% and 90.3% vs 84.5%, respectively), and survival at 2 years of corrected age without neurosensory impairment (96.0% vs 95.4% and 92.9% vs 90.8%, respectively) did not differ significantly between the planned vaginal delivery and planned cesarean delivery groups. Propensity score analysis showed that planned cesarean delivery was not associated with improved outcomes with the caveat that the infrequency of death and disability limited the statistical power of the study to detect potentially clinically meaningful differences between planned modes of delivery.
Conclusion: Planned cesarean delivery for women in preterm labor or with preterm prelabor rupture of membranes was not associated with improved neonatal outcomes or 2-year outcomes.