Objective Umbilical cord milking (UCM) at birth may benefit preterm infants, but the physiological effects of UCM are unknown. We compared the physiological effects of two UCM strategies with immediate umbilical cord clamping (UCC) and physiological-based cord clamping (PBCC) in preterm lambs. Methods At 126 days' gestational age, fetal lambs were exteriorised, intubated and instrumented to measure umbilical, pulmonary and cerebral blood flows and arterial pressures. Lambs received either (1) UCM without placental refill (UCMwoPR); (2) UCM with placental refill (UCMwPR); (3) PBCC, whereby ventilation commenced prior to UCC; or (4) immediate UCC. UCM involved eight milks along a 10 cm length of cord, followed by UCC. Results A net volume of blood was transferred into the lamb during UCMwPR (8.8 mL/kg, IQR 8-10, P=0.01) but not during UCMwoPR (0 mL/kg, IQR -2.8 to 1.7) or PBCC (1.1 mL/kg, IQR -1.3 to 4.3). UCM had no effect on pulmonary blood flow, but caused large fluctuations in mean carotid artery pressures (MBP) and blood flows (CABF). In UCMwoPR and UCMwPR lambs, MBP increased by 12%±1% and 8%±1% and CABF increased by 32%±2% and 15%±2%, respectively, with each milk. Cerebral oxygenation decreased the least in PBCC lambs (17%, IQR 13-26) compared with UCMwoPR (26%, IQR 23-25, P=0.03), UCMwPR (35%, IQR 27-44, P=0.02) and immediate UCC (34%, IQR 28-41, P=0.02) lambs. Conclusions UCMwoPR failed to provide placental transfusion, and UCM strategies caused considerable haemodynamic disturbance. UCM does not provide the same physiological benefits of PBCC. Further review of UCM is warranted before adoption into routine clinical practice.
|Journal||Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2018|