Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Placenta accreta


BACKGROUND: Few studies have systematically addressed the role of epidural analgesia and caesarean delivery in predicting the post-partum disease activity in women with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)The objective of this study was to assess the impact of epidural analgesia (EA) and caesarean delivery (CD) on the risk of post-partum relapses and disability in women with MS. METHODS: In the context of an Italian prospective study on the safety of immunomodulators in pregnancy, we included pregnancies occurred between 2002 and 2008 in women with MS regularly followed-up in 21 Italian MS centers. Data were gathered through a standardized, semi-structured interview, dealing with pregnancy outcomes, breastfeeding, type of delivery (vaginal or caesarean) and EA. The risk of post-partum relapses and disability progression (1 point on the Expanded Disability Status Sclae, EDSS, point, confirmed after six months) was assessed through a logistic multivariate regression analysis. RESULTS: We collected data on 423 pregnancies in 415 women. Among these, 349 pregnancies resulted in full term deliveries, with a post-partum follow-up of at least one year (mean follow-up period 5.5+/-3.1 years). One hundred and fifty-five patients (44.4%) underwent CD and 65 (18.5%) EA. In the multivariate analysis neither CD, nor EA were associated with a higher risk of post-partum relapses. Post-partum relapses were related to a higher EDSS score at conception (OR=1.42; 95%CI 1.11-1.82; p=0.005), a higher number of relapses in the year before pregnancy (OR=1.62; 95%CI 1.15-2.29; p=0.006) and during pregnancy (OR=3.07; 95% CI 1.40-6.72; p=0.005). Likewise, CD and EA were not associated with disability progression on the EDSS after delivery. The only significant predictor of disability progression was the occurrence of relapses in the year after delivery (disability progression in the year after delivery: OR= 4.00; 95%CI 2.0-8.2; p<0.001; disability progression over the whole follow-up period: OR= 2.0; 95%CI 1.2-3.3; p=0.005). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings, show no correlation between EA, CD and postpartum relapses and disability. Therefore these procedures can safely be applied in MS patients. On the other hand, post-partum relapses are significantly associated with increased disability, which calls for the need of preventive therapies after delivery.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Childbirth, Obstetrics, Multiple sclerosis, Caesarean delivery on maternal request, Epidural, Caesarean section, Placenta accreta


Placenta accreta (an abnormally adherent placenta) is one of the two leading causes of peripartum hemorrhage and the most common indication for peripartum hysterectomy. Placenta accreta may be associated with significant maternal hemorrhage at delivery owing to the incomplete placental separation. When placenta accreta is diagnosed before delivery, a multidisciplinary approach may improve patient outcome.

Concepts: Childbirth, Obstetrics, Hysterectomy, Placenta, Trophoblast, Caesarean section, Placenta accreta, Placenta praevia


Objective  To estimate the incidence of multiple repeat caesarean section (MRCS) (five or more) in the UK and to describe the outcomes for women and their babies relative to women having fewer repeat caesarean sections. Design  A national population-based prospective cohort study using the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS). Setting  All UK hospitals with consultant-led maternity units. Population  Ninety-four women having their fifth or greater MRCS between January 2009 and December 2009, and 175 comparison women having their second to fourth caesarean section. Methods  Prospective cohort and comparison identification through the UKOSS monthly mailing system. Main outcome measures  Incidence, maternal and neonatal complications. Relative risk, unadjusted (OR) and adjusted (aOR) odds ratio estimates. Results  The estimated UK incidence of MRCS was 1.20 per 10 000 maternities [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.97-1.47]. Women with MRCS had significantly more major obstetric haemorrhages (>1500 ml) (aOR, 18.6; 95% CI, 3.89-88.8), visceral damage (aOR, 17.6; 95% CI, 1.85-167.1) and critical care admissions (aOR, 15.5; 95% CI, 3.16-76.0), than women with lower order repeat caesarean sections. These risks were greatest in the 18% of women with MRCS who also had placenta praevia or accreta. Neonates of mothers having MRCS were significantly more likely to be born prior to 37 weeks of gestation (OR, 6.15; 95% CI, 2.56-15.78) and therefore had higher rates of complications and admissions. Conclusions  MRCS is associated with greater maternal and neonatal morbidity than fewer caesarean sections. The associated maternal morbidity is largely secondary to placenta praevia and accreta, whereas higher rates of preterm delivery are most likely a response to antepartum haemorrhage.

Concepts: Childbirth, Epidemiology, Relative risk, Obstetrics, Caesarean section, Placental abruption, Placenta accreta, Placenta praevia


Placenta creta is an increasingly prevalent cause of maternal morbidity/mortality. Decidua is at least focally defective and extravillous trophoblast (EVT) may be abnormal. The study aims to compare differences in migratory trophoblast and spiral artery remodeling between areas with and without decidua at the placental implantation site.

Concepts: Placenta, Placenta accreta


To compare the difference in maternal outcomes between early and late use of transverse annular compression sutures (TACS) during cesarean delivery among women with complete placenta previa (CPP).

Concepts: Childbirth, Obstetrics, Placenta, Epidural, Caesarean section, Placental abruption, Placenta accreta, Placenta praevia


BACKGROUND: To determine whether patients with placenta previa who delivered preterm have an increased risk for recurrent spontaneous preterm birth. METHODS: This retrospective population based cohort study included patients who delivered after a primary cesarean section (n = 9983). The rate of placenta previa, its recurrence, and the risk for recurrent preterm birth were determined. RESULTS: Patients who had a placenta previa at the primary CS pregnancy had an increased risk for its recurrence [crude OR of 2.65 (95 % CI 1.3-5.5)]. The rate of preterm birth in patients with placenta previa in the primary CS pregnancy was 55.9 %; and these patients had a higher rate of recurrent preterm delivery than the rest of the study population (p < .001). Among patients with placenta previa in the primary CS pregnancy, those who delivered preterm had a higher rate of recurrent spontaneous preterm birth regardless of the location of their placenta in the subsequent delivery [OR 3.09 (95 % CI 2.1-4.6)]. In comparison to all patients with who had a primary cesarean section, patients who had placenta previa and delivered preterm had an independent increased risk for recurrent preterm birth [OR of 3.6 (95 % CI 1.52-8.51)]. CONCLUSIONS: Women with placenta previa, who deliver preterm, especially before 34 weeks of gestation, are at increased risk for recurrent spontaneous preterm birth regardless to the site of placental implantation in the subsequent pregnancy. Thus, strict follow up by high risk pregnancies specialist is recommended.

Concepts: Childbirth, Embryo, Prenatal development, Obstetrics, Placenta, Caesarean section, Placenta accreta, Placenta praevia


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate characteristics of placenta accreta (PA) in patients without previous cesarean section. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Retrospective cohort study from December 1993 to April 2010 in two departments of obstetrics in university hospitals, Marseille, France. Comparison of clinical characteristics, circumstances of diagnosis, maternal morbidity and treatment was performed between PA diagnosed in patients with (n=63) and without prior cesarean section (n=35). RESULTS: In group of patients without previous caesarean section, rate of placenta praevia, and antenatal diagnosis were lower (16/35 [46 %] vs. 44/63 [70 %], [P: 0.02]) and (4/35 [11 %] vs. 28/63 [44 %], [P<0.001]) and rate of pregnancies obtained by IVF was higher (5/35 [15 %] vs. 2/63 [3 %], [P=0.05]). In this group, no hysterectomy was performed but risk of uterus necrosis following embolization was increased (3/35 [8.6 %] patients vs. 0/63 patients [P: 0.02]). CONCLUSIONS: Patients without previous caesarean section have specific characteristics in terms of risk factor and of management.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Obstetrics, Hysterectomy, Caesarean section, Placental abruption, Placenta accreta, Placenta praevia


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of prophylactic misoprostol use at cesarean delivery for reducing intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhage. STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. RESULTS: Seventeen studies (3174 women) were included of which 7 evaluated misoprostol versus oxytocin and 8 evaluated misoprostol plus oxytocin versus oxytocin. Overall, there were no significant differences in intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhage between sublingual or oral misoprostol and oxytocin. Rectal misoprostol, compared with oxytocin, was associated with a significant reduction in intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhage. The combined use of sublingual misoprostol and oxytocin, compared with the use of oxytocin alone, was associated with a significant reduction in the mean decrease in hematocrit (mean difference, -2.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI], -3.4 to -0.8) and use of additional uterotonic agents (relative risk, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.18-0.62). Compared with oxytocin alone, buccal misoprostol plus oxytocin reduced the use of additional uterotonic agents; rectal misoprostol plus oxytocin decreased intraoperative and postoperative blood loss, mean fall in hematocrit, and use of additional uterotonic agents; and intrauterine misoprostol plus oxytocin reduced the mean fall in hemoglobin and hematocrit. Women receiving misoprostol, alone or combined with oxytocin, had a higher risk of shivering and pyrexia. CONCLUSION: Misoprostol combined with oxytocin appears to be more effective than oxytocin alone in reducing intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhage during caesarean section. There were no significant differences in intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhage when misoprostol was compared to oxytocin. However, these findings were based on a few trials with methodological limitations.

Concepts: Childbirth, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Obstetrics, Epidural, Caesarean section, Labor induction, Placenta accreta


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the risk of placenta praevia accreta following primary (first) elective or primary emergency caesarean section in a pregnancy complicated by placenta praevia. DESIGN: Retrospective matched case-control study, employing variable matching. SETTING: Tertiary referral centre between 1993 and 2008. POPULATION: Sixty-five cases and 102 controls were used for the analysis from a total of 82 667 births during the study period. METHODS: Relevant data were abstracted from clinical records. Matching of cases with controls was based on co-existing placenta praevia, number of previous caesarean sections, and age, with one or two controls per case. Results are presented as odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Placenta accreta in a pregnancy complicated by placenta praevia following a primary elective or emergency caesarean section, and morbidity associated with pregnancies complicated by placenta accreta. RESULTS: Significantly more cases than controls had an elective caesarean section for their primary caesarean delivery (46.2 versus 18.6%; P < 0.001). There were no differences between groups for previous pregnancy loss, uterine surgery, and vaginal delivery, before or after the primary caesarean section. Compared with primary emergency caesarean section, primary elective caesarean section significantly increased the risk of placenta accreta in a subsequent pregnancy in the presence of placenta praevia (OR 3.00; 95% CI 1.47-6.12; P = 0.025). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that women with a primary elective caesarean section without labour are more likely, compared with those undergoing primary emergency caesarean section with labour, to develop an accreta in a subsequent pregnancy with placenta praevia.

Concepts: Childbirth, Obstetrics, Caesarean delivery on maternal request, Epidural, Caesarean section, Placental abruption, Placenta accreta, Placenta praevia


This month, we focus on current research in placenta accreta. Dr. Lorenz discusses five recent publications, and each is concluded with a “bottom line” that is the take-home message. The complete reference for each can be found in on this page, along with direct links to the abstracts.

Concepts: Placenta, Trophoblast, Placenta accreta, Placenta praevia