Do patients who deliver at term after being hospitalized for preterm contractions have an increased risk for obstetrical complications? Academic Article uri icon


  • Objectives: To determine the obstetrical complications and perinatal outcomes of patients with recurrent episodes of preterm contractions (PTC) that eventually delivered at term compared to those who delivered preterm. Methods: A retrospective study evaluating pregnancy complications and adverse perinatal outcomes of patients with recurrent episodes of PTC (three or more) was conducted. A comparison was made between those who delivered preterm to those who eventually delivered at term. Results: Deliveries occurred between the years 1989 and 2009. During the study period, there were 1,897 singleton deliveries at term and 393 preterm singleton deliveries of patients who were previously hospitalized with PTCs. Patients who delivered at term were significantly more likely to be in their first pregnancy and to be primiparous. Patients in the study group were less likely to have had fertility treatments, a history of miscarriage, a higher incidence of one previous hospitalization but lower rates of multiple hospitalizations for PTC. Patients who delivered at term had a significantly lower rate of severe preeclampsia as well as cesarean delivery and a shorter hospital stay than those who delivered preterm. At term, an increased incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) neonates was noted compared to patients who delivered prematurely (10.07 vs. 5.6 %; P = 0.005). Conclusion: Patients with symptoms of preterm labor may require further surveillance, not only because of their risk to progress to preterm delivery, but also because they are at an increased risk for delivering an SGA neonate at term.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013