Coiling characteristics of umbilical cords in breech vs. vertex presentation

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To compare selected umbilical cord parameters, especially cord coiling, between breech and vertex presentations.


We prospectively collected umbilical cords from uncomplicated breech and vertex obtained during elective term cesarean deliveries. We compared various cord parameters between the two groups as well as data regarding obstetric history and pregnancy outcome.


We evaluated 55 umbilical cords from breech and 55 from vertex deliveries. Umbilical cord length (56.93 cm vs. 63.95 cm, P = 0.05), number of coils (5.1 ± 0.4 vs. 11.7 ± 0.6, P < 0.0001) and umbilical cord index (UCI) (0.09 coils/cm vs. 0.18 coils/cm, P < 0.0001) were all significantly lower for breech presentations and remained significant following multivariate analysis.


We document significant differences in umbilical coiling and the UCI between breech and vertex presentation. The precise reason for these differences is still unclear.

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