Prospective First-Trimester Ultrasound Imaging of Low Implantation and Placenta Accreta Spectrum

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12 Scopus citations


Objectives: To prospectively evaluate low implantation of the gestational sac and other first-trimester ultrasound (US) parameters for prediction of placenta accreta spectrum (PAS). Methods: Women with a diagnosis of low implantation on clinically indicated first-trimester US underwent a transvaginal US examination at 10 to 13 weeks’ gestation to assess the trophoblast location, anechoic areas, bridging vessels, and smallest myometrial thickness (SMT). The placental location was evaluated in the second trimester, and serial US examinations were performed in cases of low placentation. Placenta accreta spectrum was based on clinical findings and confirmed by histologic results. Results: Of 68 women, 40 (59%) had prior cesarean delivery (CD). Hysterectomy was performed in 8, all with prior CD. Of these, 7 (88%) had US suspicion of PAS. In 16 with prior CD and basalis overlying the internal os, 9 (56%) had second-trimester placenta previa, and 7 of 9 (78%) underwent hysterectomy with pathologic confirmation of PAS. Of 28 without prior CD, there were no cases of persistent low placentation in the third trimester regardless of the trophoblast location. Ultrasound parameters associated with PAS were a smaller distance from the inferior trophoblastic border to the external os, disruption of the bladder-serosal interface, bridging vessels, anechoic areas, and the SMT. In women with prior CD, use of the SMT in the sagittal plane yielded an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.96 (95% confidence interval, 0.91–1.00). Conclusions: First-trimester low implantation increases the risk of persistent placenta previa and PAS in women with prior CD. All parameters were associated with PAS, the most predictive being the SMT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1915
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • cesarean scar pregnancy
  • first-trimester ultrasound
  • low implantation
  • placenta accreta spectrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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