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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1998 Nov;63(2):105-8.

Rupture of the pregnant uterus--a 21-year review.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Women's Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.



To review the incidence of ruptured uteri at the Women's Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and to analyze the causative factors of uterine rupture with a view to its prevention and to highlight the management approach taken to preserve the patient's reproductive potential.


Case notes were reviewed for all patients (except for eight which were not available) with a ruptured uterus at the Women's Hospital in Doha for a period of 21 years from 1 July 1977 to 30 June 1997, relevant data relating to the clinical features characteristics of labor, operative procedures, and maternal perinatal outcome were assessed.


There were 31 cases of ruptured uteri. The incidence of ruptured uteri was calculated to be 0.017%, 23 cases being available for the study. Ten cases (43.5%) occurred in patients with previous cesarean scars, while 13 cases (56.5%) were grand multiparous (para 5 or more). In 10 cases (43.5%) uterine rupture was associated with oxytocin use, and four cases (18.2%) were associated with PGE2 use. The ruptures occurred in the lower segment of 19 cases (90.9%). Fetal heart abnormalities were observed in all cases except one in which the uterus ruptured during labor. Abdominal hysterectomy was performed in 15 cases (65.2%). The remaining eight patients had suture repair, two of them had suture repair with sterilization and the other six cases (26.1%) had suture repair without sterilization. Five of them became pregnant and were delivered by cesarean section.


Even though rupture of the uterus was rare in our study, its occurrence should be suspected when there are sudden fetal heart abnormalities during labor or unexpected postpartum shock. Suture repair should be considered whenever possible in order to maintain the patient's future fertility.

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