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Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Apr;107(4):785-92.

Placental abruption in term and preterm gestations: evidence for heterogeneity in clinical pathways.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick 08901-1977, USA.



To estimate the magnitude of associations of acute and chronic processes with abruption in preterm and term gestations.


A retrospective cohort study was performed using data on women that delivered singleton live births and stillbirths at 20 or more weeks of gestation in the United States, 1995-2002 (n = 30,378,902). Rates of 1) acute-inflammation-associated clinical conditions (premature rupture of membranes and intrauterine infection); 2) chronic processes associated with vascular dysfunction or chronic inflammation (chronic and pregnancy-induced hypertension, preexisting or gestational diabetes, small for gestational age, and maternal smoking); and 3) both acute and chronic processes, were examined among women with and without abruption. Rates were examined separately among preterm (< 37 weeks) and term births, with adjustment for confounders. Relative risk (RR) for aforementioned groups in relation to abruption was derived from multivariate logistic regression models after adjusting for potential confounders.


At preterm gestation, the rates of acute-inflammation-associated conditions were higher among women with than without abruption (12.0% compared with 10.2%; RR 1.38, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.34-1.42). At term, acute-inflammation-associated conditions were present in 4.2% and 3.3% of births with and without abruption, respectively (RR 1.39, 95% CI 1.33-1.45). At preterm gestation, the rates of chronic processes were 43.9% and 30.0% among women with and without abruption, respectively (RR 1.87, 95% CI 1.85-1.90). At term, the corresponding rates of chronic processes were 41.0% and 22.7%, respectively (RR 2.37, 95% CI 2.34-2.41). Association between both acute and chronic processes and abruption are similar to those of acute-inflammation-associated conditions.


Among women with placental abruption, conditions associated with acute inflammation are more prevalent at preterm than term gestations, whereas chronic processes are present throughout gestation.



[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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