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Lancet. 1992 Oct 10;340(8824):886-90.

Importance of complete follow-up of spontaneous fetal loss after amniocentesis and chorion villus sampling.

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  • 1Murdoch Institute for Research into Birth Defects, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Erratum in

  • Lancet 1992 Nov 14;340(8829):1236.


Women who are the most difficult to trace after amniocentesis or chorion villus sampling are often those who have had an adverse pregnancy outcome. To calculate total fetal loss figures for use in prenatal counselling we have followed in a multicentre study 100% of women who had undergone these procedures. Early spontaneous loss (within three weeks of the procedure) and total spontaneous loss were much lower after amniocentesis (0.2% and 1.3%, respectively) than after chorion villus sampling (1.2% and 2.9%). Four spontaneous fetal losses among the 20 pregnancies that were the most difficult to follow-up increased the loss rate by 0.5% for chorion villus sampling. Risk of early fetal loss after chorion villus sampling was related to experience of the operator (relative risk [RR] 4.3, p = 0.003), and total fetal loss was lower in pregnancies tested at 10 weeks' or more gestational age compared with those tested before 10 weeks' (RR 0.4, p = 0.01). A table showing the frequency of each of the seven possible outcomes after amniocentesis and chorion villus sampling is useful in counselling those considering one or other test.

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