Epidemiology, etiology, diagnosis, and management of placenta accreta

Obstet Gynecol Int. 2012;2012:873929. doi: 10.1155/2012/873929. Epub 2012 May 7.


Placenta accreta is a severe pregnancy complication and is currently the most common indication for peripartum hysterectomy. It is becoming an increasingly common complication mainly due to the increasing rate of cesarean delivery. Main risk factor for placenta accreta is a previous cesarean delivery particularly when accompanied with a coexisting placenta previa. Antenatal diagnosis seems to be a key factor in optimizing maternal outcome. Diagnosis can be achieved by ultrasound in the majority of cases. Women with placenta accreta are usually delivered by a cesarean section. In order to avoid an emergency cesarean and to minimize complications of prematurity it is acceptable to schedule cesarean at 34 to 35 weeks. A multidisciplinary team approach and delivery at a center with adequate resources, including those for massive transfusion are both essential to reduce neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality. The optimal management after delivery of the neonate is vague since randomized controlled trials and large cohort studies are lacking. Cesarean hysterectomy is probably the preferable treatment. In carefully selected cases, when fertility is desired, conservative management may be considered with caution. The current review discusses the epidemiology, predisposing factors, pathogenesis, diagnostic methods, clinical implications and management options of this condition.