Factors Limiting Magnetic Resonance Imaging Diagnosis of Placenta Accreta Spectrum

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2 Scopus citations


Objective Placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) disorders are characterized by an abnormal adherence of the placenta to the uterine myometrium. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an important adjunct in antenatal diagnosis. We sought to determine if there are patient and MRI characteristics that limit the accuracy of PAS diagnosis and degree of invasion. Study Design We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of patients who were evaluated for PAS by MRI from January 2007 to December 2020. Patient characteristics evaluated included number of prior cesarean deliveries, history of dilation and curettage (D&C) or dilation and evacuation (D&E), short interval pregnancy less than 18 months, and delivery body mass index (BMI). All patients were followed until delivery and MRI diagnosis was compared with final histopathology. Results Of the 353 patients with suspected PAS, 152 (43%) underwent MRI evaluation and were included in the final analysis. In patients who underwent MRI evaluation, 105 (69%) had confirmed PAS on pathology. Patient characteristics were similar between groups and not associated with accuracy of MRI diagnosis. MRI was accurate in diagnosing PAS and the associated degree of invasion in 83 (55%) patients. Accuracy was associated with lacunae (8 vs. 0%, p = 0.02), abnormal bladder interface (25 vs. 6%, p = 0.002), and T1 hyperintensity (13 vs. 1%, p = 0.002). Of the 69 (45%) patients in whom MRI was inaccurate, overdiagnosis was seen in 44 (64%) patients and underdiagnosis in 25 (36%) patients. Overdiagnosis was significantly associated with dark T2 bands (45 vs. 22%, p = 0.005). Underdiagnosis was associated with earlier gestational age at MRI (28 vs. 30 weeks, p = 0.049) and lateral placentation (16 vs. 2.4%, p = 0.025). Conclusion Patient factors did not change MRI accuracy of PAS diagnosis. MRI is associated with a significant overdiagnosis of PAS when dark T2 bands are present, and underdiagnose PAS when performed earlier in gestation or when lateral placentation is present. Key Points Patient factors are not associated with MRI accuracy of PAS diagnosis. MRI overdiagnoses PAS invasion when there are dark T2 bands. MRI underdiagnoses PAS invasion when performed earlier in gestation. Underdiagnosis of PAS is associated with lateral placentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1398-1405
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Nov 2 2022


  • abnormally invasive placenta
  • accuracy
  • diagnosis
  • limitations
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • placenta accreta spectrum
  • ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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