Neuraxial labor analgesia is not an independent predictor of perineal lacerations after vaginal delivery of patients with intrauterine fetal demise

J. H. Lee, Feyce Mabel Peralta, A. Palatnik, Christina Lewicky Gaupp, R. J. McCarthy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction The role of neuraxial labor analgesia in perineal trauma following live births is controversial, and no studies have assessed the association in women delivering an intrauterine fetal demise. We evaluated the relationship between neuraxial labor analgesia and perineal laceration in these patients. Methods This was a retrospective case-control study of women with a diagnosis of fetal death after 20 weeks of gestation, a vaginal delivery, and an Apgar score of 0 at delivery, during the period from January 2007 through December 2015. The presence of a perineal laceration and its severity, graded from grade I to IV based on the 2014 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines, was recorded. Results A total of 329/422 (78%) patients received neuraxial, and 93/422 (22%) non-neuraxial, labor analgesia. A perineal laceration occurred in 23% in the neuraxial versus 10% in the non-neuraxial analgesia group, a difference of 13% (95% CI of difference 4% to 20%, P=0.005). After adjusting for confounder bias, greater birthweight (OR 4.22, 95% CI 3.00 to 5.92, P <0.001) and lower parity (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.82, P=0.009), but not neuraxial analgesia (OR 1.29, 95% CI 0.47 to 3.57, P=0.61) were independent predictors of perineal laceration. The maintenance concentration of bupivacaine did not affect the rate of perineal injury. Conclusions Neuraxial labor analgesia does not appear to be an independent risk for a perineal laceration in patients with intrauterine fetal demise. Our data suggests that the use of neuraxial analgesia should not raise concern about increased rates of perineal injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia
Volume32
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Keywords

  • Analgesia, epidural
  • Delivery, vaginal
  • Fetal demise, intrauterine
  • Laceration, perineal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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