Risk factors for and perinatal mortality of abruptio placentae in patients hospitalised for early onset severe pre-eclampsia - A case controlled study
We set out to determine which patients admitted for expectant management of early onset severe pre-eclampsia develop abruptio placentae and to compare the perinatal mortality rate of patients who developed abruptio placentae with those who did not have this complication. This was a case controlled study, using gestational age at delivery to select a control group for 69 patients who developed abruptio placentae. The only significant difference on admission was the higher uric acid levels in patients who developed abruptio placentae. Mean admission to delivery intervals were 11.9 and 8.8 days for the control and abruption groups respectively (P = 0.0083). Fifty-eight per cent of the babies in the abruptio placentae group developed late decelerations, as determined by fetal heart rate monitoring compared with 32% in the control group. Lactate dehydrogenase levels before delivery were significantly higher in the abruption group, but it only became elevated shortly before delivery and in the minority of cases. There were two intrauterine and four neonatal deaths in the abruption group and two neonatal deaths in the control group. Late decelerations detected by frequent fetal heart rate monitoring in patients with early onset severe pre-eclampsia is the only early warning of abruptio placentae.