Introduction Cardio-pulmonary compromise in fetus and newborn secondary to loose or tight nuchal cord at or prior to delivery is an important area for research. Our aim in this study is to evaluate umbilical arterial (UA) and venous (UV) pH, pO2, pCO2, base deficit and the umbilical veno-arterial difference (Uv-a) in these parameters in newborns born following nuchal cord.
Methodology UA and UV pH, pO2, pCO2, and base deficit of 47 newborns born following tight nuchal cord, 44 newborns born following single loose nuchal cord and 44 newborns born without nuchal cord were compared across.
Results Mean UA pH (7.25 vs. 7.28) was lower in the nuchal cord group and mean UA pCO2 (58.11 vs. 54.38) was higher in the nuchal cord group; however the difference was not statistically significant. No difference was found in pO2 or base deficit across groups. However, nuchal cord to control group comparisons of U v-a pH and U v-a pCO2 change were both significant (p < 0.05). No U v-a pH and pCO2 differences between control and tight nuchal cord were observed. U v-a pO2 difference and U v-a base deficit difference was also non-significant across groups.
Discussion UA acidosis was observed in group with nuchal cord, as seen by lower mean UA pH and elevated UA pCO2 (statistical non-significance could be due to low power) and U v-a difference in pH and pCO2 (statistically significant). Large prospective studies would be needed to clearly understand the patho-physiology of acidosis in newborns born following nuchal cord.