Timing of birth and adverse pregnancy outcomes in cases of prenatally diagnosed vasa previa: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Samantha J. Mitchell, Georgia Ngo, Kimberly A. Maurel, Junichi Hasegawa, Tatsuya Arakaki, Yaakov Melcer, Ron Maymon, Françoise Vendittelli, Alireza A. Shamshirsaz, Hadi Erfani, Scott A. Shainker, Antonio F. Saad, Marjorie C. Treadwell, Ashley S. Roman, Joanne L. Stone, Daniel L. Rolnik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: The ideal time for birth in pregnancies diagnosed with vasa previa remains unclear. We conducted a systematic review aiming to identify the gestational age at delivery that best balances the risks for prematurity with that of pregnancy prolongation in cases with prenatally diagnosed vasa previa. Data Sources: Ovid MEDLINE, PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched from inception to January 2022. Study Eligibility Criteria: The intervention analyzed was delivery at various gestational ages in pregnancies prenatally diagnosed with vasa previa. Cohort studies, case series, and case reports were included in the qualitative synthesis. When summary figures could not be obtained directly from the studies for the quantitative synthesis, authors were contacted and asked to provide a breakdown of perinatal outcomes by gestational age at birth. Methods: Study appraisal was completed using the National Institutes of Health quality assessment tool for the respective study types. Statistical analysis was performed using a random-effects meta-analysis of proportions. Results: The search identified 3435 studies of which 1264 were duplicates. After screening 2171 titles and abstracts, 140 studies proceeded to the full-text screen. A total of 37 studies were included for analysis, 14 of which were included in a quantitative synthesis. Among 490 neonates, there were 2 perinatal deaths (0.4%), both of which were neonatal deaths before 32 weeks’ gestation. In general, the rate of neonatal complications decreased steadily from <32 weeks’ gestation (4.6% rate of perinatal death, 91.2% respiratory distress, 11.4% 5-minute Apgar score <7, 23.3% neonatal blood transfusion, 100% neonatal intensive care unit admission, and 100% low birthweight) to 36 weeks’ gestation (0% perinatal death, 5.3% respiratory distress, 0% 5-minute Apgar score <7, 2.9% neonatal blood transfusion, 29.2% neonatal intensive care unit admission, and 30.9% low birthweight). Complications then increased slightly at 37 weeks’ gestation before decreasing again at 38 weeks’ gestation. Conclusion: Prolonging pregnancies until 36 weeks’ gestation seems to be safe and beneficial in otherwise uncomplicated pregnancies with antenatally diagnosed vasa previa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-181.e24
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • blood transfusion
  • cesarean
  • fetal hemorrhage
  • neonatal outcomes
  • perinatal death
  • prematurity
  • stillbirth
  • vasa previa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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