Effect of External Cephalic Version in Late Pregnancy on Breech Presentation and Caesarean Section Rate: A Controlled Trial

Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1983 May;90(5):392-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1983.tb08934.x.


A prospective randomized controlled trial of external cephalic version (ECV) in late pregnancy is reported. All pregnancies were assessed with ultrasound and cardiotocography. ECV was successful in 29 out of 30 patients (97%). Breech presentation at delivery occurred in 67% of the control group and in 3% of the ECV group. The caesarean section rates were 43 and 20% respectively. Tocolysis was used in seven patients. A new technique of ECV with the steep lateral position is described. Complications were limited to cardiotocographic changes and one patient with unexplained vaginal spotting. The procedure is recommended provided appropriate patient selection and surveillance is practised.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breech Presentation*
  • Cesarean Section*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Female
  • Fetal Heart / physiology
  • Fetal Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Labor Presentation*
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Random Allocation
  • Ultrasonography
  • Version, Fetal*