Ruptured Uterus: A Study of 100 Consecutive Cases in Ilorin, Nigeria


Universtiy of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Maternity Wing, P.M.B. 1339, Ilorin, Nigeria


Objectives: To determine the incidence, aetiology, trend, management maternal and fetal outcome of uterine rupture at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria. To compare the results with previous reports from this centre.

Materials and Methods: A prospective study of patients with ruptured uterus at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria between February, 1992 and December, 1999 was undertaken. The patients were initially assessed in the labour ward where the clinical presentation, relevant socio-demographic data, previous medical and surgical histories were noted. Necessary investigations and resuscitation were carried out before the operation. A structured questionnaire was also administered either before or after the operation. Two consecutive spontaneous vaginal deliveries following each case of uterine rupture served as control. Statistical analysis was done using the Genstat 32 package.

Results: Of the 20,960 deliveries during the study period, there were 100 ruptured uteri giving a hospital incidence of 1 in 210 deliveries. Oxytocin use (39%), uterine scar (23%) and obstructed labour (16%) were the common associated factors. When compared with the controls, uterine rupture in the study group was significantly associated with low socio-economic status p < 0.001, lack of antenatal care p < 0.001, and high parity p < 0.012. A maternal age 40 years and above was also a risk factor. The anterior wall of the uterus was the commonest site affected and repair with tubal ligation was the surgical procedure in 36% of cases. Maternal mortality was 13%, while fetal mortality was 92%. When compared with the previous incidence of 1 in 298 deliveries, a slight increase is noted.

Conclusion: Ruptured uterus is still a common obstetric hazard in our environment and its incidence appears to be on the increase. The condition is significantly associated with advanced maternal age, grandmultiparity, lack of antenatal care and the low socio-economic status of the patients.