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Hum Reprod. 1998 Jul;13(7):1975-80.

Mid-trimester loss--appraisal of a screening protocol.

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  • 1Miscarriage Clinic, Liverpool Women's Hospital, UK.


The main causes for mid-trimester loss are known. There is likely to be overlap with those of first trimester loss, but the proportions may be different. We wished to perform an aetiological survey in a large population of patients with a history of recurrent miscarriage, for possible explanations for their second trimester miscarriages. Database analysis of 636 patients attending a UK University Teaching Hospital dedicated miscarriage clinic between 1991 and 1996 revealed a 25% prevalence (n = 158) for second trimester miscarriage. Results from an investigative screening protocol were positive in 50% of cases: 33% (n = 52) tested positive for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS); 8% (n = 13) fulfilled strict criteria for cervical incompetence; there was a 4% prevalence of uterine anomaly; 3% for infection (n = 5) and 2% of patients (n = 3) proved to be hypothyroid. Importantly, dual pathology was found in 5% of patients with a history of second trimester miscarriage. As idiopathic mid-trimester loss is a diagnosis by exclusion, a high index of suspicion is required, as are modern diagnostic techniques.

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