Objective: To investigate the management and survival of very preterm singletons born because of fetal growth restriction (FGR) with or without maternal hypertensive disorders in France.
Study design: From a population-based cohort of very preterm births between 22 and 31 weeks in France in 2011, the study population included all non-anomalous singleton pregnancies delivered because of detected FGR with or without maternal hypertensive disorders. Antenatal detection of FGR was defined as an estimated fetal weight <10th percentile with or without fetal Doppler abnormalities or growth arrest. All fetuses were alive at the time of detection of FGR. Indicators of active perinatal management (antenatal steroids, pre-labor cesarean and birth in level 3 maternity unit) and fetal/neonatal outcomes (terminations of pregnancy (TOP), stillbirths, neonatal deaths and survival to discharge) were compared by gestational age between FGR associated with maternal hypertensive disorders and isolated FGR.
Results: Overall, 398 pregnancies delivered before 32 weeks for FGR associated with hypertensive disorders and 234 for isolated FGR. Active perinatal care was rare before 26 weeks in both groups and about one in five cases associated with maternal hypertensive disorders received steroids and was born by prelabor cesarean compared to none for isolated FGR. Before 25 weeks of gestation age, more pregnancies resulted in TOP when FGR was associated with hypertensive disorders compared to isolated FGR (respectively, 76.2 % vs 28.0 % at 22-23 weeks, P = 0.002 and 57.9 % vs 21.1 % at 24 weeks, P = 0.028) whereas stillbirths were more common among isolated FGR (respectively, 23.8 % vs 72.0 % at 22-23 weeks, P = 0.002 and 36.8 % vs 73.7 % at 24 weeks, P = 0.030). Survival to discharge was higher at any gestational age when the cause of birth was FGR associated with hypertensive disorders compared to isolated FGR.
Conclusion: The management and pregnancy outcomes differed when FGR was associated with maternal hypertensive disorders or isolated. The proportion of TOP was higher when FGR was associated with hypertensive disorders and the proportion of stillbirths was higher in isolated FGR.