Prediction models for successful external cephalic version: A systematic review

Joost Velzel*, Marcella De Hundt, Frederique M. Mulder, Jan F.M. Molkenboer, Joris A.M. Van Der Post, Ben W. Mol, Marjolein Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


To provide an overview of existing prediction models for successful ECV, and to assess their quality, development and performance. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library to identify all articles reporting on prediction models for successful ECV published from inception to January 2015. We extracted information on study design, sample size, model-building strategies and validation. We evaluated the phases of model development and summarized their performance in terms of discrimination, calibration and clinical usefulness. We collected different predictor variables together with their defined significance, in order to identify important predictor variables for successful ECV. We identified eight articles reporting on seven prediction models. All models were subjected to internal validation. Only one model was also validated in an external cohort. Two prediction models had a low overall risk of bias, of which only one showed promising predictive performance at internal validation. This model also completed the phase of external validation. For none of the models their impact on clinical practice was evaluated. The most important predictor variables for successful ECV described in the selected articles were parity, placental location, breech engagement and the fetal head being palpable. One model was assessed using discrimination and calibration using internal (AUC 0.71) and external validation (AUC 0.64), while two other models were assessed with discrimination and calibration, respectively. We found one prediction model for breech presentation that was validated in an external cohort and had acceptable predictive performance. This model should be used to council women considering ECV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Breech presentation
  • External cephalic version
  • Prediction model


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