Placental Location in Maternal-Fetal Surgery for Myelomeningocele

for the fMMC Consortium Sponsored by NAFTnet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Uterine incision based on the placental location in open maternal-fetal surgery (OMFS) has never been evaluated in regard to maternal or fetal outcomes. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether an anterior placenta was associated with increased rates of intraoperative, perioperative, antepartum, obstetric, or neonatal complications in mothers and babies who underwent OMFS for fetal myelomeningocele (fMMC) closure. Methods: Data from the international multicenter prospective registry of patients who underwent OMFS for fMMC closure (fMMC Consortium Registry, December 15, 2010-June 31, 2019) was used to compare fetal and maternal outcomes between anterior and posterior placental locations. Results: The placental location for 623 patients was evenly distributed between anterior (51%) and posterior (49%) locations. Intraoperative fetal bradycardia (8.3% vs. 3.0%, p = 0.005) and performance of fetal resuscitation (3.6% vs. 1.0%, p = 0.034) occurred more frequently in cases with an anterior placenta when compared to those with a posterior placenta. Obstetric outcomes including membrane separation, placental abruption, and spontaneous rupture of membranes were not different among the 2 groups. However, thinning of the hysterotomy site (27.7% vs. 17.7%, p = 0.008) occurred more frequently in cases of an anterior placenta. Gestational age (GA) at delivery (p = 0.583) and length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (p = 0.655) were similar between the 2 groups. Fetal incision dehiscence and wound revision were not significantly different between groups. Critical clinical outcomes including fetal demise, perinatal death, and neonatal death were all infrequent occurrences and not associated with the placental location. Conclusions: An anterior placental location is associated with increased risk of intraoperative fetal resuscitation and increased thinning at the hysterotomy closure site. Individual institutional experiences may have varied, but the aggregate data from the fMMC Consortium did not show a significant impact on the GA at delivery or maternal or fetal clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • Anterior placenta
  • Fetal myelomeningocele
  • Open maternal-fetal surgery
  • Placental location
  • Spina bifida

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Embryology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Placental Location in Maternal-Fetal Surgery for Myelomeningocele'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this