The prevalence of non-viable pregnancy at 10–13 weeks of gestation

Authors

  • P. P. Pandya,

    1. Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital Medical School, London, UK
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  • R. J. M. Snijders,

    1. Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital Medical School, London, UK
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  • N. Psara,

    1. Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital Medical School, London, UK
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  • L. Hilbert,

    1. Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital Medical School, London, UK
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  • Professor K. H. Nicolaides

    Corresponding author
    1. Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital Medical School, London, UK
    • Harris Birthright Research Centre for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital Medical School, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8RX, UK
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Abstract

In an ultrasound screening study at 10–13 weeks of gestation involving 17 870 women, the prevalence of early pregnancy failure was 2.8% (501 cases), including 313 (62.5%) missed abortions and 188 (37.5%) anembryonic pregnancies. Lower gestation and higher maternal age were associated with a higher prevalence (χ2 = 143.5; p < 0.001 and χ2 = 53.3; p < 0.0001, respectively). The prevalence was higher in women with a history of vaginal bleeding (χ2 = 141.5; p < 0.0001), but there was no significant association with previous pregnancy losses (χ2 = 2.8), parity (χ2 = 0.6) or cigarette smoking (χ2 = 0.0). Recent evidence suggests that the most effective method of screening for chromosomal abnormalities is measurement of fetal nucbal translucency thickness at 10–13 weeks, and therefore ultrasound examination at this gestation is likely to become universally available. As shown in this study, an additional advantage of such a scan is the diagnosis of early pregnancy failure, which will be found in about 3% of patients examined. Elective evacuation of retained products of conception is likely to be more cost effective and potentially safer than emergency surgery in a patient presenting during miscarriage. Copyright © 1996 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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