External cephalic version after previous cesarean section--a clinical dilemma

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1994 Apr;45(1):17-20. doi: 10.1016/0020-7292(94)90760-9.


Objectives: To describe our limited experience with external cephalic version from breech to vertex presentation at term, with the use of ritodrine tocolysis, in women who had undergone a previous cesarean delivery.

Methods: Eleven parturients after previous cesarean delivery underwent external version after 36 gestational weeks, utilizing tocolysis with ritodrine, after excluding cases of low-lying placenta, severe oligohydramnion or ruptured membranes. Patients were then followed until delivery and scar examination was carried out after vaginal delivery, or at re-cesarean section, according to mode of delivery.

Results: All 11 attempted versions were successful. Six patients subsequently delivered vaginally and five by re-cesarean section. None of the uterine scars showed any signs of dehiscence. Three of the five infants delivered by re-cesarean section weighed over 4000 g, whereas all of the vaginally-delivered infants weighed under 3500 g.

Conclusions: External cephalic version to vertex presentation after previous cesarean section was successful in all 11 carefully selected patients. No untoward effects were noted, and no signs of scar dehiscence were found. The safety and efficacy of this procedure after previous cesarean delivery should be examined further.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breech Presentation*
  • Cesarean Section*
  • Cesarean Section, Repeat
  • Contraindications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Ritodrine / therapeutic use*
  • Tocolysis*
  • Trial of Labor
  • Version, Fetal / methods*


  • Ritodrine