The effect of placental location in cases of placenta accreta spectrum


      Placenta accreta spectrum affects approximately 3 in 1000 pregnancies. There is a paucity of data evaluating the effect of placental location on diagnosis, risk factors, and resultant outcomes in cases of placenta accreta spectrum.


      We analyzed placenta accreta spectrum cases to assess whether risk factors or maternal outcomes varied based on placental location.

      Materials and Methods

      We performed a retrospective chart review of pathology-confirmed cases of placenta accreta spectrum from patients delivering at 2 large urban hospitals in the same healthcare system from 2007 to 2017. Placental location was defined by ultrasound images and confirmed by pathology reports. Location was categorized as anterior, posterior, or anterior/posterior for those with placental location at both sites. Fisher exact tests and analysis of variance were used to examine associations with measures of diagnosis, risk factors, and maternal outcomes.


      A total of 86 pathology-confirmed placenta accreta spectrum cases were reviewed. The distribution of placental location on ultrasound was as follows: 19% posterior, 59% anterior, and 22% anterior/posterior. We found that prior cesarean delivery was lower with posterior placenta accreta spectrum (63% vs 94% vs 84% in the anterior and anterior/posterior groups respectively; (P = .007); however, in vitro fertilization rates were significantly higher (38% vs 2% vs 5% in the anterior and anterior/posterior groups respectively; P = .001). There was also lower incidence of percreta with posterior placenta accreta spectrum compared to the anterior and anterior/posterior groups (19% vs 47% vs 58% respectively; P = .055). Posterior cases were less likely to have placenta accreta spectrum suspected prenatally (50%) compared to anterior (80%) and anterior/posterior (89%) cases (P = .019). Despite late diagnosis, ureteral injury was the only surgical complication that was more common in patients with posterior placenta accreta spectrum (13% vs 0% vs 5% for anterior and anterior/posterior groups respectively; P = .037).


      Placenta accreta spectrum with posterior placental location is associated with delayed diagnosis, surgical complications, assisted reproductive technology, and lower numbers of prior cesarean deliveries relative to anterior location. These differences in outcomes and risk factors based on placental location may allow for heightened clinical awareness, and improved diagnosis and management.

      Key words

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