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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2010 May;23(5):421-4. doi: 10.3109/14767050903440489.

Uterine rupture and subsequent pregnancy outcome--how safe is it? A 25-year study.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kuwait University, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia.



(a) To review the cases of ruptured uterus over the last 25 years and analyze the causative factors with a view to its prevention (b) To analyze subsequent pregnancy outcome with a view to its safety.


The case notes were reviewed for all patients with ruptured uterus over a period of 25 years from January 1982 to January 2007. Relevant dates relating to the characteristics of labor, delivery, maternal, perinatal, and subsequent pregnancy outcomes were assessed.


The incidence of ruptured uteri was calculated to be 0.03%. Total deliveries included in the study were 152,426. There were 46 cases of ruptured uteri and 44 were available for study. Twenty-two (52%) ruptured uteri occurred in patients with previous caesarean scars, of which 10 occurred in women with previous four or more caesarean sections. In 12 cases (27%), uterine rupture occurred due to oxytocin; PGE2 and oxytocin were used in 3 of these 12 cases. Two (4.5%) ruptures occurred due to non-removal of cervical cerclage during labor. Two (4.5%) primigravidae ruptured their uterus following road traffic accident, resulting in maternal and fetal deaths. Malpresentation in labor resulted in eight (18%) ruptures. Rupture occurred at the fundus in 10 cases and in the lower segment in the remaining 34. Fetal heart abnormalities were observed in all cases in which the uterus ruptured during labor. Abdominal hysterectomy was performed in 20 cases (45%) of which 13 were subtotal and 7 (10%) were total. Of the remaining 24 (55%) patients, 10 had suture repair and in addition 14 patients underwent hypogastric artery ligation. Later, 22/24 (92%) women became pregnant. Twenty (91%) were delivered by planned caesarean section. There were no maternal or fetal complications. The remaining two women had previous classical scar, undetected malpresentation, and sparse antenatal care. Their uteri ruptured spontaneously at 32 and 35 weeks at home. They died intra-operatively due to intractable hemorrhage along with their fetus.


In the previous caesarean section, the indiscriminate use of oxytocin and malpresentation are the risk factors for uterine rupture. Child birth after uterine rupture is not to be recommended routinely. Most women with a previous uterine rupture with meticulous tertiary level antenatal care had a favorable outcome in subsequent pregnancies.

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