Imaging the Uterus in Placenta Accreta Spectrum Disorder

Meena Khandelwal, Thomas D. Shipp, Carolyn M. Zelop, Alfred Z. Abuhamad, Yalda Afshar, Brett D. Einerson, Karin A. Fox, Thierry A.G.M. Huisman, Deirdre J. Lyell, Uma Perni, Lawrence D. Platt, Scott A. Shainker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Antenatal diagnosis of placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) improves maternal and neonatal outcomes by allowing for multidisciplinary planning and preparedness. Ultrasound is the primary imaging tool. Simplification and standardization of placental evaluation and reporting terminology allows improved communication and understanding between teams. Prior to 10 weeks of gestation, gestational sac position and least myometrial thickness surrounding the gestational sac help PAS diagnosis very early in pregnancy. Late first-, second-, and third-trimester evaluation includes comprehensive evaluation of the placenta, transabdominal and transvaginal with partially full maternal urinary bladder, and by color Doppler. Subsequently, the sonologist should indicate whether the evaluation was optimal or suboptimal; the level of suspicion as low, moderate, or high; and the extent as focal, global, or extending beyond the uterus. Other complementary imaging modalities such as 3D-power Doppler ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and vascular topography mapping strive to improve antenatal placental evaluation but remain investigational at present. Key Points Antenatal imaging, primarily using ultrasound with partially full maternal urinary bladder, is an essential means of evaluation of those at risk for PAS. Simplification and standardization of placental evaluation and reporting will allow improved communication between the multidisciplinary teams. Gestational sac location prior to 10 weeks of gestation and four markers after that (placental lacunae and echostructure, myometrial thinning, hypoechoic zone with or without bulging between placenta and myometrium, and increased flow on color Doppler).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1013-1025
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 19 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D
  • Doppler
  • MRI
  • antenatal diagnosis
  • placenta accreta
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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