Head circumference, as predictor of cephalopelvic disproportion: A prospective analysis of cases of spontaneous vaginal delivery and caesarean section in Ekiti State, Nigeria

Benedict T. Adeyanju, Olusola P. Aduloju, Temitope O. Okunola, Ibukun O. Ojo


Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) is a previously undiagnosed anatomical misfit between maternal pelvis and the fetal head. It is one of the major indications for cesarean section (CS), especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Early diagnosis, could avert events that can increase maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality associated with this condition. This study was designed to determine the mean head circumference of the fetus in relation to CPD as an indicator for caesarean section. A total of 350 parturients who had spontaneous vaginal deliveries (group A) were compared with another 350 parturients who had cephalopelvic disproportion leading to CS (group B). The socio-demographic characteristics, delivery parameters, head circumference, fetal weight and length were recorded in a proforma and analyzed using SPSS version 21. P value was set at 0.05. The mean head circumference for the all the babies delivered in this study was 34.6 ±1.7cm. The mean head circumference of babies delivered to women with CPD via caeserean section compared to those who had vaginal delivery was significantly greater (35.15±1.5 vs 34.1±1.8, mean difference 1.9±0.1, X2,0.308 p<0.001). The cut-off for diagnosis of cephalopelvic disproportion was head circumference 34.8cm which has a
specificity of about 74% and sensitivity of 88% with area under the curve being 66%. The study demonstrated that when the head circumference of a baby is 34.8cm and above, the risk of having cephalopelvic disproportion leading to a CS is high with sensitivity of 88% and specificity of about 74%

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