Evaluation of classic and novel ultrasound signs of placenta accreta spectrum

for the Perinatal Research Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: Improvement in the antenatal diagnosis of placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) would allow preparation for delivery in a referral center, leading to decreased maternal morbidity and mortality. Our objectives were to assess the performance of classic ultrasound signs and to determine the value of novel ultrasound signs in the detection of PAS. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of women with second-trimester placenta previa who underwent third-trimester transvaginal ultrasound and all women with PAS in seven medical centers. A retrospective image review for signs of PAS was conducted by three maternal–fetal medicine physicians. Classic signs of PAS were defined as placental lacunae, bladder-wall interruption, myometrial thinning and subplacental hypervascularity. Novel signs were defined as small placental lacunae, irregular placenta–myometrium interface (PMI), vascular PMI, non-tapered placental edge and placental bulge towards the bladder. PAS was diagnosed based on difficulty in removing the placenta or pathological examination of the placenta. Multivariate regression analysis was performed and receiver-operating-characteristics (ROC) curves were generated to assess the performance of combined novel signs, combined classic signs and a model combining classic and novel signs. Results: A total of 385 cases with placenta previa were included, of which 55 had PAS (28 had placenta accreta, 11 had placenta increta and 16 had placenta percreta). The areas under the ROC curves for classic markers, novel markers and a model combining classic and novel markers for the detection of PAS were 0.81 (95% CI, 0.75–0.88), 0.84 (95% CI, 0.77–0.90) and 0.88 (95% CI, 0.82–0.94), respectively. A model combining classic and novel signs performed better than did the classic or novel markers individually (P = 0.03). An increasing number of signs was associated with a greater likelihood of PAS. With the presence of 0, 1, 2 and ≥ 3 classic ultrasound signs, PAS was present in 5%, 24%, 57% and 94% of cases, respectively. Conclusions: We have confirmed the value of classic ultrasound signs of PAS. The use of novel ultrasound signs in combination with classic signs improved the detection of PAS. These findings have clinical implications for the detection of PAS and may help guide the obstetric management of patients diagnosed with these placental disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-473
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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