European Clinics in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 128–130 | Cite as

Vasa praevia: a lethal threat to the fetus

  • L. Ameryckx
  • J. J. Amy
Clinical Review


Vasa praevia constitutes a rare obstetric complication that is potentially lethal for the generally healthy infant. If unrecognized antenatally, the condition carries a higher fetal mortality rate than any other complication in pregnancy. Only in the past two decades have major diagnostic advances led to a dramatic improvement of perinatal survival and lower morbidity rates. Good outcomes depend primarily on prenatal diagnosis and appropriate management. The performance of a caesarean section before rupture of the membranes and the onset of labour is mandatory. Simple modifications of standard screening protocols and the recognition of high-risk patients will allow identification of most cases of vasa praevia.


Vasa praevia Velamentous cord insertion Low-lying placenta Prenatal diagnosis Antepartum haemorrhage Colour Doppler 


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Copyright information

© European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyHomerton University HospitalLondonUK
  2. 2.Andrology and ObstetricsAcademisch Ziekenhuis-Vrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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