Mode of delivery in severe preeclampsia before 28 weeks' gestation: A systematic review

Leonoor van Eerden, Ingrid Gaugler-Senden, Ralph J. de Vries, Gerda G. Zeeman, Christianne J. M. de Groot, Antoinette C. Bolte

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Importance Preeclampsia with an onset before 28 weeks' gestation poses dilemmas for the obstetrician with regard to the mode of delivery. Objective The aim of this study was to analyze the success rate of attempted vaginal delivery and the maternal and neonatal outcome according to the mode of delivery in women with preeclampsia and an indicated delivery before 28 weeks' gestation. Evidence Acquisition A comprehensive search was performed in the bibliographic databases PubMed,, and Wiley Cochrane Library. The main outcome was success rate of attempted vaginal delivery. Secondary outcomes were maternal and neonatal outcomes. Results Eight studies describing a total of 800 women were included. Success rates of vaginal delivery varied from 1.8% to 80%, and rates for cesarean delivery after induction of labor varied from 13% to 51%. The rates for planned cesarean delivery varied from 0% to 73%. Two studies (n = 53) described no statistical significant differences in maternal outcomes. Two other studies (n = 107) report no statistical difference in neonatal outcome. Conclusions Studies that report the success rate of attempted vaginal delivery are limited in size. However, giving the available evidence in the reported studies a trial of labor is a considerable option in counseling women with a pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia before 28 weeks' gestation due to the similar maternal and neonatal outcome. No differences in maternal or neonatal outcome were attributed to the mode of delivery, however, numbers are small. Target Audience Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians. Learning Objectives After completing this activity, the learner should be better able to counsel women with early-onset preeclampsia on mode of delivery; critically appraise articles on mode of delivery in women with preeclampsia with an onset before 28 weeks' gestation; and avoid performing randomized controlled trials on mode of delivery in women with preeclampsia before 28 weeks' gestation, due to limited feasibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-474
JournalObstetrical and Gynecological Survey
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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