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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Nov;165(5 Pt 1):1345-51.

On reducing the frequency of severe abruptio placentae.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235-9032.


At Parkland Memorial Hospital the frequency of abruptio placentae so severe as to kill the fetus has decreased from 1 in 420 deliveries during 1956 through 1969 to 1 in 830 during 1974 through 1989. Major factors in this reduction were elimination of very high parity and a marked increase in the percentage of Latin American women, in whom the risk was 1 in 1473 deliveries compared with 1 in 595 for black women and 1 in 876 for white women. Abdominal trauma was encountered rarely, as was fetoplacental-to-maternal hemorrhage sufficient to impair fetal perfusion seriously. Abnormal development of Müllerian ducts and uterine myomas were encountered rarely. Neither red blood cell macrocytosis characteristic of folate deficiency nor iron deficiency could be implicated in the genesis of severe abruptio placentae. Abruptio placentae recurred in 12% of subsequent pregnancies and proved fatal to the fetus in 7%, unchanged from our earlier experience.

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