Amnioinfusion During Labor Complicated by Particulate Meconium-Stained Amniotic Fluid Decreases Neonatal Morbidity

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Our purpose was to evaluate the efficacy of prophylactic amnioinfusion in decreasing neonatal morbidity associated with labor complicated by particulate meconium-stained amniotic fluid and to assess potential complications of this procedure.


One hundred five laboring pregnant women with particulate (moderate or thick) meconium by subjective clinical analysis were randomly assigned to receive amnioinfusion or to receive standard obstetric care without amnioinfusion. Patients with any antepartum complications, other than the presence of meconium, were excluded from the study. Statistical analyses consisted of the two-tailed and paired Student t tests, Pearson chi squared (chi2) test, and Wilcoxon nonparametric test. Significance was set at p < 0.05.


The study included 47 patients in the study group and 58 patients in the control group. A significantly greater proportion of study patients demonstrated decreased meconium concentration between rupture of membranes and delivery (46 of 46 vs 15 of 58, p < 0.001). The relative dilution of meconium consistency by objective analysis was significantly different between the study group and the control group (77.1% decrease vs 9.3% increase, p < 0.001). The proportion of neonates with meconium below the vocal cords was reduced in the study group (two of 47 vs 36 of 58, p < 0.001). Umbilical artery pH was increased in the study group neonates (7.29 +-\0.01 vs 7.25 +-\0.009, p < 0.05). The rate of neonatal acidemia was reduced in the study group (4 of 45 vs 12 of 50, p < 0.05). The rate of meconium aspiration syndrome was reduced in the study group (1 of 47 vs 8 of 58, p < 0.05). Maternal and neonatal morbidity rates were similar.


Prophylactic amnioinfusion should be considered a possible addition to the intrapartum management of patients with particulate meconium-stained amniotic fluid. (AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1994;170:842-9.)

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