An observation of umbilical coiling index in a low risk population in Nigeria

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The umbilical coiling index (UCI) is one of cord parameters for foetal assessment with limited studies in our environment. With recent advances in its evaluation, its significance, pattern, abnormalities and correlates need to be defined in our parturients.


The umbilical cords of 436 neonates were examined. Gross examination was done within 5 min of delivery. The UCI was defined as the number of complete coils per centimetre of cord. Normal UCI was defined as values between the 10th and 90th percentiles of the study population.


The mean umbilical cord length was 52.7±11.5 cm, mean number of coils was 10.8±5.1 and mean UCI was 0.21±0.099. The range was between 0.0 and 1.0. UCI values of 0.13 and 0.30 were 10th and 90th percentiles, respectively. Normal UCI was observed in 351 (80.5%) neonates, 44 (10.4%) and 41 (9.1%) had hypo- and hypercoiled cords, respectively. Congenital abnormalities occurred in the normocoiled and hypercoiled groups but was not demonstrated in the hypocoiled group. The mean value of UCI in neonates with congenital abnormalities was 0.29±0.12 (P=0.011). There was no significant statistical relationship between foetal outcome and degree of UCI.


The UCI was not associated with adverse perinatal outcome in this study.

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