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Revista Brasileira de Ginecologia e Obstetrícia

Print version ISSN 0100-7203On-line version ISSN 1806-9339


MACEA, José Rafael  and  MACEA, Maria Inez Marcondes. Rupture of Vasa Previa: A Case Report. Rev. Bras. Ginecol. Obstet. [online]. 2001, vol.23, n.7, pp.465-468. ISSN 0100-7203.

The differential diagnosis of hemorrhages during the third trimester of pregnancy due exclusively to obstetrical causes includes: abruptio placentae, low insertion of placenta (placenta previa with subtypes), rupture of the uterus, rupture of the marginal placental sinus and rupture of the vasa previa. The three first diagnoses occur more frequently, their epidemiological factors are better known and therefore, have an easier diagnosis. It is common for obstetricians with long practical experience, as well as for ultrasonographers specialized in fetal medicine and who thoroughly know their theory, not to have ever been exposed to practical obstetrical cases of vasa previa or their rupture. The reason to write this article was the fact that, during the past 32 years, we have been working constantly and uninterruptedly in obstetrical practice and we have seen only one case of rupture of vasa previa during labor, which killed the fetus. Initially, we investigated the issue in obstetrical textbooks having no luck whatsoever, except for a couple of lines on the subject. Carrying out our search in depth, we were able to learn that, even though a rarity, today's literature on the subject suggests that it is possible to have a diagnosis for this morbid entity during gestation, and to solve the problem by making the cesarian section mandatory in these cases, leading to a significant reduction in the actual fetal mortality figures which, according to experts, vary between 33 and 100%.

Keywords : Vasa previa; Velamentous umbilical cord insertion; Fetal death.

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