• Vol. 50 No. 1, 5–15
  • 01 January 2021

Risk factors and outcomes of uterine rupture in Singapore: Emerging trends



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Introduction: Uterine rupture is uncommon but has catastrophic implications on the pregnancy. A scarred uterus and abnormal placentation are known contributory factors. The aim of our study was to review the contributing factors, clinical presentation, complications and management of uterine rupture in our population in light of the changing nature of modern obstetric practices. Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital by studying proven cases of uterine rupture in the period between January 2003 and December 2014. These cases were analysed according to their past history, clinical presentation, complications, management and outcome. Results: A total of 48 cases of proven uterine rupture were identified. The incidence of uterine rupture was 1 in 3,062 deliveries. The ratio of scarred uterus rupture to unscarred uterus rupture was approximately 3:1. The most common factor was previous lower segment caesarean section for the scarred group, followed by a history of laparoscopic myomectomy. Abdominal pain was the common clinical presentation in the antenatal period, while abnormal cardiotocography findings were the most common presentation in intrapartum rupture. Conclusion: There is a notable shift in the trend of uterine rupture cases given the increasing use of laparoscopic myomectomy and elective caesarean sections. While ruptures from these cases were few, their presentation in the antenatal period calls for diligent monitoring with informed patient involvement in their pregnancy care.

Uterine rupture is a catastrophic life-threatening complication of pregnancy with associated high maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. The incidence of uterine rupture varies with geographical location and obstetric practice. With the changes in obstetric practice over the years, caesarean section rates have increased in our population with undesirable consequences. The increasing numbers of caesarean sections for maternal requests, the decline of vaginal breech deliveries, and the increasing use of laparoscopic surgeries, especially laparoscopic myomectomies are contributory factors. The consequence of uterine rupture can be catastrophic. It is important to review the contributing factors, clinical presentation, complications and management of uterine rupture.

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