Meconium stained amniotic fluid in very low risk pregnancies at term gestation Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective: To determine the prevalence and clinical significance of meconium stained amniotic fluid (MSAF) in a low risk population at term gestation and to investigate whether MSAF is a predictor for intrapartum and neonatal morbidity. Methods: A very low risk population including 37 085 consecutive deliveries at term composed the study population. A cross-sectional study was conducted and two groups of patients were identified according to the presence (n=6164) or absence (n=30 921) of meconium in the amniotic fluid at delivery and the outcomes of the two groups compared. Results: The prevalence of MSAF was 16.6%. The incidence of cesarean section (5.6% vs 2.3% P<0.01), instrumental deliveries (3.2% vs 1.8% P<0.01), fetal distress (6.5% vs. 2.1% P<0.01), clinical chorioamnionitis (0.2% vs. 0.1% P<0.01), post-partum infection (0.5% vs. 0.2% P<0.01), 1-minute Apgar score <3 (1.9% vs. 1.1% P<0.01), small for gestational age (7.4% vs. 6.4% P<0.01). was significantly higher in the MSAF compared with the clear amniotic fluid group. Intrapartum and neonatal mortality in this low risk population was significantly higher in the MSAF group (1.7/1000) compared with women with clear AF (0.3/1000). Conclusions: MSAF in a low risk population at term gestation is a predictor for adverse perinatal outcome and peripartum complications.

publication date

  • January 1, 1998