OBJECTIVE: In women with a triplet pregnancy, there is debate on the preferred mode of delivery. We performed a nationwide cohort study to assess the impact of mode of delivery on perinatal outcome in women with a triplet pregnancy.
METHODS: Nationwide cohort study on women with a triplet pregnancy who delivered between 26 + 0 and 40 + 0 weeks of gestation in the years 1999-2008. We compared perinatal outcomes according to the intended mode of delivery and the actual mode of delivery. Outcome measures were perinatal mortality and neonatal morbidity. Perinatal outcomes were analyzed taking into account the dependency between the children of the same triplet pregnancy ("any mortality" and "any morbidity") and were also analyzed separately per child.
RESULTS: We identified 386 women with a triplet pregnancy in the study period. Mean gestational age at delivery was 33.1 weeks (SD 2.5 weeks; range 26.0-40.0 weeks). Perinatal mortality was 2.3% for women with a planned caesarean section and 2.4% in women with a planned vaginal delivery (aOR 0.37; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.09-1.5) and neonatal morbidity was 26.0% versus 36.0%, (aOR 0.88; 95% CI 0.51-1.4) respectively. In the subgroup analyses according to gestational age and in the analysis of perinatal outcomes per child separately, there were also no large differences in perinatal outcomes. The same applied for perinatal outcomes according to the actual mode of delivery.
CONCLUSION: In this large cohort study among women with a triplet pregnancy, caesarean delivery is not associated with reduced perinatal mortality and morbidity.