Objective To assess fetal abnormalities and events leading to third-trimester abortion. Methods The study population included all parturient women with singleton pregnancy that underwent termination of pregnancy (TOP) in the third trimester in our institute because of fetal indications between 1998 and 2006. Results There were 777 cases of TOP due to fetal anomalies in our center during the study period, and 52 terminations were carried out in the third trimester. All cases of third-trimester abortions were due to severe malformations with high probability of perinatal death or severe handicap: 65.3% anomalies were structural, and 58.9% of them involved the central nervous system (CNS). Genetic indications included mostly genetic diseases, unlike aneupluidities in earlier terminations. Routine prenatal care raised suspicion of abnormalities in 22 (42.3%) cases, and diagnosis was established by additional tests. Abnormal findings were either missed in 4 (7.7%) cases or developed later in 11 (21.1%) cases. No routine prenatal screening was performed in the remaining 15 (28.8%) cases. Conclusions Third-trimester abortion may be obviated by timely screening and scanning in some cases. The possibility of late TOP should be considered in malformations occurring late in pregnancy and in cases that require meticulous evaluation and follow-up from earlier stages of gestation.
- Anomaly scan
- Chromosomal abnormalities
- Fetal anomalies
- Third-trimester termination of pregnancy