Retained Placenta and Postpartum Haemorrhage
Abstract: The aim was to explore the possibility to diagnose retained placental tissue and other placental complications with 3D ultrasound and to investigate the impact of previous caesarean section on placentation in forthcoming pregnancies.3D ultrasound was used to measure the volumes of the uterine body and cavity in 50 women with uncomplicated deliveries throughout the postpartum period. These volumes were then used as reference, to diagnose retained placental tissue in 25 women with secondary postpartum haemorrhage. All but three of the 25 women had retained placental tissue confirmed at histopathology. The volume of the uterine cavity in women with retained placental tissue was larger than the reference in most cases, but even cavities with no retained placental tissue were enlarged (Studies I and II).Women with their first and second birth, recorded in the Swedish medical birth register, were studied in order to find an association between previous caesarean section and retained placenta. The risk of retained placenta with heavy bleeding (>1,000 mL) and normal bleeding (?1,000 mL) was estimated for 19,459 women with first caesarean section delivery, using 239,150 women with first vaginal delivery as controls. There was an increased risk of retained placenta with heavy bleeding in women with previous caesarean section (adjusted OR 1.61; 95% CI 1.44-1.79). There was no increased risk of retained placenta with normal bleeding (Study III).Placental location, myometrial thickness and Vascularisation Index were recorded on 400 women previously delivered by caesarean section. The outcome was retained placenta and postpartum haemorrhage (?1,000 mL). There was a trend towards increased risk of postpartum haemorrhage for women with anterior placentae. Women with placenta praevia had an increased risk of retained placenta and postpartum haemorrhage. Vascularisation Index and myometrial thickness did not associate (Study IV).In conclusion: 3D ultrasound can be used to measure the volume of the uterine body and cavity postpartum, but does not increase the diagnostic accuracy of retained placental tissue. Previous caesarean section increases the risk of retained placenta in subsequent pregnancy, and placenta praevia in women with previous caesarean section increases the risk for retained placenta and postpartum haemorrhage.
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