Obstetric Outcomes in Singleton Pregnancies with Abnormal Placental Cord Insertions

Leilah D. Zahedi-Spung, Molly Stout, Ebony B. Carter, Jeffrey Dicke, Methodius G. Tuuli, Nandini Raghuraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective  There is wide variation in the management of pregnancies complicated by abnormal placental cord insertion (PCI), which includes velamentous cord insertion (VCI) and marginal cord insertion (MCI). We tested the hypothesis that abnormal PCI is associated with small for gestational age (SGA) infants. Study Design  This is a retrospective cohort study of all pregnant patients undergoing anatomic ultrasound at a single institution from 2010 to 2017. Patients with abnormal PCI were matched in a 1:2 ratio by race, parity, gestational age at the time of ultrasound, and obesity to patients with normal PCIs. The primary outcome was SGA at delivery. Secondary outcomes were cesarean delivery, preterm delivery, cesarean delivery for nonreassuring fetal status, 5-minute Apgar score < 7, umbilical artery pH < 7.1, and neonatal intensive care unit admission. These outcomes were compared using univariate and bivariate analyses. Results  Abnormal PCI was associated with an increased risk of SGA (relative risk [RR]: 2.43; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.26-4.69), increased risk of preterm delivery <37 weeks (RR: 3.60; 95% CI: 1.74-7.46), and <34 weeks (RR: 3.50; 95% CI: 1.05-11.63) compared with patients with normal PCI. There was no difference in rates of cesarean delivery, Apgar score of <7 at 5 minutes, acidemia, or neonatal intensive care unit admission between normal and abnormal PCI groups. In a stratified analysis, the association between abnormal PCI and SGA did not differ by the type of abnormal PCI (p for interaction = 0.46). Conclusion  Abnormal PCI is associated with an increased risk of SGA and preterm delivery. These results suggest that serial fetal growth assessments in this population may be warranted. Key Points Abnormal PCI is associated with SGA infants and preterm birth. If an abnormal PCI is identified, the provider should consider serial growth ultrasounds. There is no difference in obstetric outcomes between VCI and MCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of perinatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • anatomic survey
  • marginal cord insertion
  • placental cord insertion
  • preterm delivery
  • small for gestational age
  • ultrasound
  • velamentous cord insertion


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