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Case Rep Obstet Gynecol. 2014;2014:345348. doi: 10.1155/2014/345348. Epub 2014 Jun 1.

The importance of a late first trimester placental sonogram in patients at risk of abnormal placentation.

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Obstetrics, Gynecology and Newborn Care, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8L6.



Placenta accreta is a potentially life-threatening obstetrical condition and is responsible for many emergency Caesarean hysterectomies. Early prenatal diagnosis may help minimize maternal morbidity and mortality. This report highlights risk factors, early diagnostic findings and complications associated with placenta accreta, and the role of first trimester sonography in diagnosis.


A 38-year-old pregnant woman, G2P1L1 with history of one previous Caesarean section, presented with vaginal bleeding at 13 weeks' gestation. Ultrasound examination was highly suspicious of placenta previa with accreta. During an earlier 12-week scan for nuchal translucency measurement, the placenta was suboptimally visualized. She was counselled regarding potential maternal and fetal complications as well as management options. At 33 weeks' gestation Caesarean hysterectomy was performed due to vaginal bleeding.


Early ultrasound screening in high-risk patients may be advantageous in order to identify placenta accreta and conduct appropriate patient counseling regarding risks and management options.

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