Association between Maternal Serum Hormones along the Maternal-Fetal Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and Successful Vaginal Delivery Measured Prior to Labor Induction

Academic Article


  • Objective This study aimed to evaluate if maternal serum hormones along the maternal-fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, when drawn prior to labor induction, differed between women who delivered vaginally and those who underwent cesarean. Study Design This was a prospective observational study at a single perinatal center performed from August 2017 to May 2018. Nulliparous women with uncomplicated singleton pregnancies ≥39 weeks had maternal serum collected prior to induction. Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) was measured by ELISA; dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), cortisol, estriol (E 3) estradiol (E 2), and progesterone (P 4) were measured by chemiluminescent reaction. Mean analyte concentrations as well as three ratios (E 2/P 4, E 3/P 4,and E 2/E 3) were compared between women who had a vaginal versus cesarean delivery. Logistic regression was used to model the relationship between CRH and the odds of vaginal birth. We estimated that a sample size of 66 would have 90% power to detect a 25% difference in mean CRH levels assuming a vaginal:cesarean ratio of 2:1 with a baseline CRH concentration of 140 (standard deviation = 36) pg/mL. Results Of the 88 women who had their serum analyzed, 27 (31%) underwent cesarean. Mean maternal serum CRH levels were similar between the vaginal delivery and cesarean groups (122.6 ± 95.2 vs. 112.3 ± 142.4, p = 0.73). Similarly, there were no significant differences in any other maternal serum analytes or ratios. Logistic regression showed a nonsignificant odds ratio for successful vaginal birth (p = 0.69) even when evaluating only the 16 women who had a cesarean for an arrest disorder (p = 0.08). Conclusion In low-risk nulliparous women undergoing full-term labor induction, there were no differences noted in a broad array of other maternal-fetal HPA-axis hormones between women who had a vaginal or cesarean delivery.
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    Author List

  • Cawyer CR; Lobashevksy E; Corley-Topham G; Anderson S; Owen J; Subramaniam A
  • Start Page

  • 1195
  • End Page

  • 1200
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 12