Imaging and Diagnosis of Postpartum Complications Sonography and Other Imaging Modalities ULTRASOUND QUARTERLY Kamaya, A., Ro, K., Benedetti, N. J., Chang, P. L., Desser, T. S. 2009; 25 (3): 151-162


Postpartum complications can be broadly divided into 4 categories: postpartum hemorrhage, obstetrical trauma, thromboembolic complications, and puerperal infections. Postpartum hemorrhage is most commonly caused by uterine atony, abnormal placentation, or genital tract trauma. Secondary causes of hemorrhage include retained products of conception and, rarely, subinvolution of the placental implantation site. Uterine dehiscence or rupture may be occult on ultrasound examination and may be better visualized on sagittal computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Obstetric trauma during prolonged vaginal or cesarean delivery may lead to fistula formation, ureteral injury, or bowel injury. Later potential complications of cesarean delivery include cesarean delivery scar ectopic, endometrial implants in the cesarean scar, and placenta accreta. Thromboembolic complications can include pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis as well as ovarian vein thrombosis, the latter of which can be difficult to clinically differentiate from appendicitis in the postpartum female.

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