Perinatal outcome of oligohydramnios in academic hospitals in a low resource setting

Hale Teka, Hagos Gidey, Tesfay G. Gebrehiwot, Awol Yemane, Hiluf Ebuy Abraha, Mohamedawel M. Ebrahim, Ermias Abate, Abida Hasan, Mebrihit Gebremeskel, Ephrem Berhe, Sumeya Ahmed, Yibrah B. Zelelow


Oligohydramnios has been a topical issue in obstetrics. The prevalence of oligohydramnios ranges from 1 to 5%. Conflicting data exists concerning its effects on adverse perinatal outcome. This study aims to assess perinatal outcomes of oligohydramnios at the Mekelle Public Hospitals from April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019. This was a cross-sectional study and a total population purposive sampling method was employed to collect data prospectively. During the study period, there were a total of 10,451 deliveries in both hospitals. Oligohydramnios complicated 332 pregnancies (3.2%, 95%CI: 2.9%, 3.5%) across all gestations and 273 pregnancies (2.6%, 95% CI: 2.3%, 2.9%) at term. The composite adverse perinatal outcome rate was 29.7% (95% CI, 24.5, 35.4). Primigravidity and presenting at post-term gestation were associated with adverse perinatal outcome. Nearly 70% of mothers gave birth via Cesarean delivery. Oligohydramnios was found to be associated with a significant increase in adverse newborn and maternal outcomes in the study setting. Although a significant proportion of mothers underwent Cesarean delivery for a perceived increased complications associated with vaginal delivery in this population of patients, Cesarean delivery was found to not improve perinatal outcome. Primigravids and postdated pregnancies must receive increased surveillance to detect oligohydramnios early and to institute appropriate and timely interventions. Indications for Cesarean delivery in patients complicated by oligohydramnios must be carefully examined to balance the benefit on the perinatal outcome on the one hand and to avoid unnecessary major surgery with potential fatal maternal complications on the other. (Afr J Reprod Health 2023; 27 [4]: 54-64)

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