Objective ?Internal contraction monitoring provides a quantitative assessment of intrauterine resting tone. During the course of labor, elevated intrauterine resting tone may be identified. We hypothesized that elevated intrauterine resting tone could lead to compression of the spiral arteries, thus limiting uterine blood flow and resulting in neonatal compromise. Therefore, our objective was to assess the association between elevated resting tone during labor and neonatal morbidity. Study Design ?This was a secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study of singleton deliveries at ≥37 weeks of gestation. Patients with ruptured membranes and an intrauterine pressure catheter in place for at least 30 minutes prior to delivery were included. Intrauterine resting tone was calculated as the average baseline pressure between contractions during the 30 minutes prior to delivery. The study group had elevated intrauterine resting tone, defined as intrauterine resting tone ≥75th percentile (≥12.3 mm Hg). Primary outcome was composite neonatal morbidity: hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, hypothermia treatment, intubation, seizures, umbilical arterial pH ≤7.1, oxygen requirement, or death. Secondary outcomes included umbilical artery pH <7.2, lactate ≥4 mmol/L, and rates of neonatal intensive care unit admission. Results ?Of the 8,580 patients in the cohort, 2,210 (25.8%) met the inclusion criteria. The median intrauterine resting tone was 9.7 mm Hg (interquartile range: 7.3-12.3 mm Hg). Elevated resting tone was associated with a shorter median duration of the first stage of labor (10.0 vs. 11.0 hours, p < 0.01) and lower rates of labor induction and oxytocin augmentation (p < 0.01). Neonatal composite morbidity was higher among patients with elevated intrauterine resting tone (5.1 vs. 2.9%, p = 0.01). After adjusting for chorioamnionitis and amnioinfusion, elevated intrauterine resting tone was associated with increased risk of neonatal morbidity (adjusted odds ratio: 1.70, 95% confidence interval: 1.06-2.74). Conclusion ?Our findings suggest that elevated intrauterine resting tone is associated with increased risk of neonatal composite morbidity. Key Points Higher intrauterine resting tone is associated with increased risk of neonatal morbidity. Elevated intrauterine tone can negatively impact umbilical artery pH and lactate levels. If elevated intrauterine pressure is noted, we recommend close monitoring of fetal status.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican journal of perinatology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • intrauterine pressure
  • intrauterine tone
  • labor
  • neonatal outcomes


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