Postpartum Hemorrhage Vouch Placenta by benbenzhou


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              G. Kayem, T. Schmitz, V. Tsatsaris, F. Goffinet and D. Cabrol

INTRODUCTION                                            MANAGEMENT OF ADHERENT
Placenta accreta occurs when a defect of the
decidua basalis results in abnormally invasive          The classical approach most often recommended
placental implantation1. It is often diagnosed          in cases of placenta accreta is extirpative4. If risk
only after delivery when manual removal of the          factors and prenatal imaging both strongly sug-
placenta has failed. Attempting forcible manual         gest this diagnosis, a Cesarean hysterectomy is
removal of a placenta accreta can easily lead to        generally planned, especially for patients who
dramatic hemorrhage that may result in hyster-          do not wish continued fertility. If the placenta
ectomy. Thus, placenta accreta and especially           accreta is discovered after delivery, the placenta
placenta percreta reportedly result in a maternal       is removed as soon as possible to empty the
mortality rate of 7%, and cause intra- and post-        uterine cavity. In most cases, however, this
operative morbidity associated with massive             forced placental delivery induces massive
blood transfusions, infection, ureteral damage,         hemorrhage and leads to hysterectomy.
and fistula formation2. Its incidence, along with          When the diagnosis of adherent placenta is
the Cesarean section rate, has increased 10-fold        not suspected before labor and a postpartum
over the past 50 years3. With a frequency               hemorrhage is obviously related to attempting
of approximately 1 per 1000 deliveries, this            forcible removal of a placenta accreta, several
disorder has become more common in today’s              options are possible, dependent on the patient’s
medical practice4.                                      wishes and the cervical situation.
                                                           If there is no wish for continued fertility
                                                        or if the hemodynamic status is unstable, a
                                                        hysterectomy must be performed. Otherwise, an
In practice, placenta accreta is diagnosed accord-      attempt can be made to preserve the uterus
ing to clinical or histological criteria as follows5.   using surgical (ligating hypogastric arteries) or
If suspected before labor, prenatal diagnosis of        radiological (embolization of the uterine arter-
placenta accreta is confirmed by the failure of its     ies) techniques (see Chapters 30 and 32). Other
gentle attempted removal during the third stage         methods have been published in case reports
of labor. If not suspected before delivery, pla-        describing uterine packing, oversewing the pla-
centa accreta can be diagnosed if manual                cental bed, prostaglandin administration, direct
removal of the placenta is partially or totally         aortic compression and argon beam coagulation
impossible and no cleavage plane exists between         in order to decrease blood loss6. More recently,
part or the entire placenta and the uterus; a           a simple method using parallel sagittal ligatures
heavy bleeding occurs from the implantation             of the lower segment has been described; it is
site after forced placental removal.                    particularly useful if the hemorrhage is located
   After a hysterectomy performed because of            to the lower segment7. Other similar methods,
postpartum hemorrhage, placenta accreta is              more complex to perform, have also been des-
shown by histologic confirmation of accreta on          cribed, but seem to be associated with serious
the hysterectomy specimen.                              side-effects (uteropyosis, synechia)8–10.


   We believe these methods can be used only        DESCRIPTION OF CONSERVATIVE
when the diagnosis of adherent placenta has         MANAGEMENT
been made after attempting forcible removal
                                                    Depending on how the placenta accreta is
and in case of severe hemorrhage.
                                                    discovered, two different types of conservative
   An alternative therapeutic approach to the
                                                    treatment can be used.
placenta is conservative rather than extirpative.
Some cases of successful conservative manage-       (1) When discovered during the third stage of
ment of placenta accreta have previously been           labor, removal of the placenta is not forced;
reported11–15.                                          the conservative treatment leaves the pla-
   Conservative strategy was initiated in our           centa, in part or entirely, in the uterus when
center in 1997 and followed the successful              the patient’s hemodynamic status is stable
conservative management of one case of                  and no septic risk is present.
placenta accreta, by leaving the placenta in
                                                    (2) When the placenta accreta is strongly sus-
place16. Since this date, our protocol is to
                                                        pected before delivery (based on history and
manage most cases of placenta accreta con-
                                                        ultrasound and/or magnetic resonance
servatively, leaving in situ each placenta that
                                                        imaging suggestive of the diagnosis), the
adheres either partially or totally to the
                                                        case is discussed at the daily obstetric
myometrium. We evaluated this management
                                                        staff meeting and conservative treatment
by a historical consecutive study to compare the
                                                        is proposed to the patient. In this case,
impact of conservative and extirpative strategies
                                                        management includes the following steps
for placenta accreta on maternal morbidity and
                                                        (Figure 1). The precise position of the
                                                        placenta is determined by ultrasound. A
   Two consecutive periods, A and B, were
                                                        Cesarean section is planned, with the
compared. During period A (January 1993 to
                                                        abdominal incision at the infraumbilical
June 1997), our written protocol called for the
                                                        midline, enlarged above the umbilicus if
systematic manual removal of the placenta, to
                                                        necessary, and a vertical uterine incision at
leave the uterine cavity empty. In period B (July
                                                        a distance from the placental insertion.
1997 to December 2002), we changed our
                                                        After extraction of the infant, delivery of the
policy by leaving the placenta in situ. The
                                                        placenta is attempted prudently, with an
following outcomes over the two periods were
                                                        intravenous injection of 5 IU oxytocin and
compared: need for blood transfusion, hysterec-
                                                        moderate cord traction. If this fails, the pla-
tomy, intensive care unit admission, duration
                                                        centa is considered to be ‘accreta’. The cord
of stay in intensive care unit, and postpartum
                                                        is cut at the placental insertion and the pla-
endometritis. Thirty-three cases of placenta
                                                        centa left in the uterine cavity; the uterine
accreta were observed among 31 921 deliveries
                                                        incision is closed. Prophylactic antibiotic
(1.03/1000). During period B, there was a
                                                        therapy (amoxicillin and clavulanic acid) is
reduction in the hysterectomy rate (from
                                                        administered for 10 days.
11 (84.6%) to 3 (15%); p < 0.001), the
mean number of red blood cells transfused
(3230 ± 2170 ml vs. 1560 ± 1646 ml; p < 0.01),
                                                    FOLLOW-UP AFTER CONSERVATIVE
and disseminated intravascular coagulation
(5 (38.5%) vs. 1 (5.0%); p = 0.02), compared
with period A. There were three cases of sepsis     During the postpartum period, all patients are
in period B and none in period A (p = 0.26).        seen weekly until complete resorption of the
One hysterectomy was required at day 26,            placenta. Ultrasonography and clinical exami-
because of sepsis and hemorrhage, after a           nation are performed to detect hemorrhage,
conservative management of an entire                pain or clinical signs of infection. To improve
placenta accreta. Two women with conservative       clinical follow-up and to help choose antibiotic
management have subsequently had successful         therapy in cases of endometritis with or without
pregnancies.                                        sepsis, C-reactive protein and blood counts are

                                                                                          Adherent placenta

  Prenatal suspicion of placenta accreta
  (placenta previa + previous Cesarean

  Discussion with the patient
  Medical staff meeting

                                                    Patient does not                   Cesarean
  Patient wishes for continued                      wish for continued                 section +
  fertility                                         fertility                          hysterectomy

  Cesarean section with:
  Ultrasound location of the placenta
  Vertical hysterotomy at a distance from the placenta
  Fetal delivery

  Delivery of the placenta is attempted prudently, with oxytocin 5 IU            Success: placenta
  injection and moderate cord traction                                           normally inserted

  Failure: Confirm the diagnosis of placenta accreta

  Section of the umbilical cord
  Closure of the uterine incision

  Sulprostone (8.3 ml/min for 1 h)
  Radiological embolization except if there is no bleeding after
  surgical treatment

  Follow-up once a week
      - Clinical examination (bleeding, fever, pelvic pain)
      - Hemoglobin level, leukocyte numeration, C-reactive protein,
        vaginal sample for bacteriological examination
      - Ultrasound examinations (size of the retained placenta)

Figure 1   Conservative management of placenta accreta that is strongly suspected before delivery


assayed and vaginal samples are taken for             accreta is strongly suspected before labor,
bacteriological study.                                should be preferable to confirm the diagnosis.

                                                      COMPLICATIONS OF CONSERVATIVE
                                                      Conservative management is a strategy that
Methotrexate, uterine artery embolization and
                                                      must be applied with discretion. Complications
sulprostone are three adjuvant treatments des-
                                                      are possible and include sepsis and hemorrhage
cribed in several case reports involving conser-
                                                      with failure of conservative management21,27. In
vative treatment14,18–21. The outcome when
                                                      case of secondary hemorrhage and/or sepsis
the placenta is left in place after methotrexate
                                                      following a conservative management, hysterec-
administration varies widely; it ranges from
                                                      tomy may become necessary. At present, the
expulsion at 7 days to progressive resorption
                                                      number of patients managed with this strategy
in roughly 6 months14,18–20. We do not use
                                                      is too low for an adequate evaluation of the
methotrexate at all. Similarly, only a few reports
                                                      risk of rare severe maternal morbidity or
describe the outcome after embolization and
                                                      mortality. Accordingly, this type of manage-
leaving the placenta in situ22. In our practice, we
                                                      ment is presently appropriate only when rigor-
perform, almost systematically, embolization of
                                                      ous monitoring can follow, in centers with
uterine arteries to diminish or prevent a post-
                                                      adequate equipment and resources26.
partum hemorrhage. Sulprostone is a well-
                                                         Ideally, these complications should be
known uterotonic agent utilized in case of
                                                      discussed prenatally with the patient to give her
postpartum hemorrhage. It can be used to pre-
                                                      complete information about the different thera-
vent or treat immediate abnormal postpartum
                                                      peutic strategies (extirpative or conservative).
bleeding. Data do not currently prove the bene-
                                                      Given the difficulties mentioned above for pre-
fit of adding this therapy to conservative treat-
                                                      natal diagnosis, this discussion is rarely possible.
ment; however, its utilization may contribute to
                                                      Accordingly, one possible option is to preserve
the prevention of major postpartum bleeding in
                                                      maternal fertility and to diminish the risk of
the 2 or 3 days after delivery.
                                                      hemorrhage when placenta accreta is discovered
                                                      during delivery.
Prenatal identification of placenta accreta
would facilitate the choices about management         In our experience, seven patients managed
of delivery and allow the appropriate precau-         conservatively were contacted from 1–5 years
tions (reinforcement of obstetric, anesthetic and     afterwards, whereas ten were lost to long-term
radiology teams, blood transfusion readiness).        follow-up. Of these seven, one had another
However, the sensitivity and specificity of           successful pregnancy 2 years later and another
transvaginal or transabdominal ultrasound and         had two consecutive successful pregnancies,
magnetic resonance imaging vary from 33% to           both complicated by placenta accreta, located
95% in different studies; they depend greatly on      at the same place, and treated conservatively
placenta location23–26. For these reasons, imag-      again. The others chose, for various personal
ing should be considered only when placenta           reasons, not to become pregnant again. None
accreta is suspected for clinical reasons (mainly     sought subsequent treatment for sterility.
placenta previa associated with previous Cesar-          The possibility of recurrence should thus be
ean section). Moreover, systematic attempts at a      discussed with the woman when deciding on
careful and gentle intraoperative delivery of the     the initial conservative management. Moreover,
placenta (intravenous injection of 5 IU oxytocin      in any subsequent pregnancies following a
and moderate contraction), even when placenta         conservative management, the risk of placenta

                                                                                              Adherent placenta

accreta should be monitored carefully by appro-          11. Legro RS, Price FV, Hill LM, Caritis SN.
priate investigations, particularly if the placenta          Nonsurgical management of placenta percreta: a
is located in the same site as before.                       case report. Obstet Gynecol 1994;83:847–9
                                                         12. Hollander DI, Pupkin MJ, Crenshaw MC,
                                                             Nagey DA. Conservative management of
CONCLUSIONS                                                  placenta accreta. A case report. J Reprod Med
Conservative management of placenta accreta              13. Komulainen MH, Vayrynen MA, Kauko ML,
appears to be a safe alternative to extirpative              Saarikoski S. Two cases of placenta accreta man-
management. However, it must be applied cau-                 aged conservatively. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod
tiously and should be proposed only in centers               Biol 1995;62:135–7
with adequate resources, and the capability of           14. Mussalli GM, Shah J, Berck DJ, Elimian A,
securing a strict follow-up in order to detect and           Tejani N, Manning FA. Placenta accreta
treat subsequent complications.                              and methotrexate therapy: three case reports.
                                                             J Perinatol 2000;20:331–4
                                                         15. Clement D, Kayem G, Cabrol D. Conservative
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