Vasa previa and associated risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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OBJECTIVE: To systematically review published literature and calculate the prevalence of vasa previa and its known risk factors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, PubMed (non-MEDLINE and in process), and www.clinicaltrials.gov were searched from inception to March 2018 using indexing terms "vasa previa," "placenta previa," "low lying placenta," "succenturiate lobe," "bilobate placenta," "bilobed placenta," and "velamentous insertion." All original research studies reporting on 5 or more pregnancies with vasa previa were included. The search was limited to studies on human data and those published in the English language. Two reviewers independently screened titles and abstracts, completed data extraction, and assessed reporting quality using the Study Quality Assessment Tool for Case Series Studies of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Disagreements were discussed and resolved at each step of the process. RESULTS: We included 21 studies that reported 428 pregnancies with vasa previa of 1,027,918 deliveries (0.46 cases of vasa previa per 1000 deliveries). These studies fared well on risk of bias assessment using the Study Quality Assessment Tool for Case Series Studies of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The prevalence and 95% confidence intervals of known risk factors for vasa previa included a low-lying placenta (61.5%, 53.0%-70.0%), velamentous cord insertion (52.2%, 39.6%-64.7%), bilobed or succenturiate lobed placenta (33.3%, 20.9%-45.7%), use of in vitro fertilization (26.4%, 16.0%-36.8%), and multiple gestation (8.92%, 5.33%-12.5%). CONCLUSION: Vasa previa affects 0.46 cases per 1000 pregnancies. Given the high prevalence of prenatally detectable risk factors in affected pregnancies, the cost-effectiveness of screening strategies for vasa previa either in isolation, using a risk factor-based approach, or universally, in tandem with cervical-length screening using transvaginal ultrasound, should be revisited.
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