Objective: To assess survival to discharge without severe neonatal morbidity by planned mode of delivery for twins born before 32 weeks of gestation.
Methods: The JUMODA (JUmeaux MODe d’Accouchement) study was a French national prospective, population-based, cohort study of twin deliveries conducted from February 2014 to March 2015. This planned secondary analysis included diamniotic twin pregnancies from 26 0/7 through 31 6/7 weeks of gestation. Exclusion criteria included contraindications to vaginal delivery and situations for which planned cesarean delivery is favored, and neonatal prognosis depends largely on the underlying pathology rather than the planned mode of delivery. The primary outcome was survival to discharge without severe neonatal morbidity (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, grade 3 or grade 4 intraventricular hemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia, stage 2 or stage 3 necrotizing enterocolitis). The association between planned mode of delivery and primary outcome was assessed by multivariate Poisson regression model. A propensity-score approach with inverse probability of treatment weighting also was performed to control for indication bias. Subgroup analyses according to birth order and sensitivity analyses limited to spontaneous preterm births only were performed.
Results: Among 424 very preterm twin pregnancies, 192 (45.3%) had a planned cesarean delivery and 232 (54.7%) had a planned vaginal delivery. Survival to discharge without severe morbidity did not differ in the two groups: 308 of 384 (80.2%) after planned cesarean and 375 of 464 (80.8%) after planned vaginal delivery (crude relative risk 0.99; 95% CI 0.91-1.15; adjusted relative risk 1.02; 95% CI 0.93-1.11). After applying inverse probability of treatment weighting, planned cesarean delivery still was not associated with higher survival to discharge without severe neonatal morbidity than planned vaginal birth (relative risk 1.11; 95% CI 0.84-1.46). Subgroup and sensitivity analyses showed similar results.
Conclusion: Planned cesarean delivery for very preterm twins is not associated with higher survival to discharge without severe neonatal morbidity than planned vaginal delivery. These results suggest that very preterm delivery should not be considered a per se indication for planned cesarean in twin pregnancies.