Author : Hamad AL-Dahhan, Fouad
The Medical Journal of Basrah University,
Volume 24, Issue 1, Pages 13-18
Objective: To study the maternal and foetal complications of low-lying placenta at the main referral
hospital in Basrah.
Methods: This is a case control study of 598 pregnant women attended the ultrasound department at
Basra Maternity & Child Hospital, from December 1998 to June 2000; 182 cases with low-lying placenta
and 416 control.
Results: When the low-lying placenta compared with the control group, there is a significant increase in
the incidence of obstetrical & neonatal complications. These include abortion, preterm labour, abnormal
lie, and presentation, caesarean section, postpartum haemorrhage and caesarean hysterectomy.
Neonatal complications include preterm babies, babies with low birth weight and Apgar score. Perinatal
deaths mainly caused by Respiratory Distress Syndrome constitute 6.9%. Type I & II praevia carries a
lower risk of antenatal, postnatal, & foetal complications than type III & IV. There was no maternal
death among the study group.
Conclusion: Low lying placenta, especially major degree, have a high incidence of obstetrical
complications, the most important of which are preterm labour and massive ante-partum and
postpartum haemorrhage. There is increased incidence of neonatal complications, mainly prematurity,
small for gestational age and perinatal deaths. There was no relation noted between placenta praevia
and congenital anomalies of the newborns.