Placenta Accreta: Spectrum of US and MR Imaging Findings

Department of Radiology and Obstetrics, MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA.
Radiographics (Impact Factor: 2.73). 11/2008; 28(7):1905-16. DOI: 10.1148/rg.287085060
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Placenta accreta (PA) encompasses various types of abnormal placentation in which chorionic villi attach directly to or invade the myometrium. PA is a significant cause of maternal morbidity and mortality and is now the most common reason for emergent postpartum hysterectomy. Its prevalence has risen tenfold in the United States over the past 50 years, primarily due to the increasing percentage of pregnant patients undergoing primary and repeat cesarean sections. Placenta previa and previous cesarean section are the two most important known risk factors for PA. Accurate prenatal identification of affected pregnancies allows optimal obstetric management. Ultrasonography (US) remains the diagnostic standard, and routine US examination at 18-20 weeks gestation affords an ideal opportunity to screen for the disorder. Placental lacunae and abnormal color Doppler imaging patterns are the most helpful US markers for PA. In recent years, there has been increased interest in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for the evaluation of PA, since it can provide information on depth of invasion and more clearly depict posterior placentas. The most reliable MR imaging findings are uterine bulging, heterogeneous placenta, and placental bands. Focal interruptions in the hypointense myometrial border may also be helpful. PA is a clinical and diagnostic challenge that is being encountered with increasing frequency. Clinicians should be aware of the clinical issues, risk factors, and imaging findings associated with PA to facilitate optimal case management.