Prenatally diagnosed vasa previa: association with adverse obstetrical and neonatal outcomes

Jill M. Westcott, Samantha Simpson, Stephen Chasen, Luciana Vieira, Joanne Stone, Georgios Doulaveris, Peer Dar, Peter S. Bernstein, Fouad Atallah, Cara D. Dolin, Ashley S. Roman

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19 Scopus citations


Background: Vasa previa represents a rare prenatal finding with potentially life-threatening risk to the fetus. Objective: This study aimed to describe the natural history of prenatally diagnosed vasa previa and evaluate the association between antenatally diagnosed vasa previa and adverse obstetrical and neonatal outcomes. Study Design: This was a multicenter descriptive and retrospective study of patients diagnosed prenatally with vasa previa on transvaginal ultrasound in the New York City Maternal-Fetal Medicine Research Consortium centers between 2012 and 2018. Outcomes evaluated included persistence of vasa previa at the time of delivery, gestational age at delivery, indications for unplanned unscheduled delivery, and neonatal course. Results: A total of 165 pregnancies with vasa previa were included, of which 16 were twin gestations. Forty-three cases (26.1%) were noted to resolve on subsequent ultrasound. Of the remaining 122 cases with persistent vasa previa, 46 (37.7%) required unscheduled delivery. Twin gestations were nearly 3 times as likely to require unscheduled delivery as singleton gestations (73.3% vs 25.2%; P<.001). Most infants (70%) were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. There was 1 neonatal death (0.9%) because of complications related to prematurity. Conclusion: Despite the low neonatal mortality rate with prenatal detection of vasa previa, one-third of patients required unscheduled delivery, and more than half of neonates experienced complications related to prematurity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100206
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology MFM
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • multiple gestation
  • prematurity
  • prenatal counseling
  • vasa previa


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