Elevated maternal serum α-fetoprotein after minor trauma during pregnancy may predict adverse fetal outcomes

Shinsuke Tanizaki, Shigenobu Maeda, Hideyuki Matano, Makoto Sera, Hideya Nagai, Shotaro Kawamura, Hiroshi Ishida
Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 2014, 77 (3): 510-3

BACKGROUND: We evaluated the relationship between minor trauma during pregnancy and elevated maternal serum α-fetoprotein level.

METHODS: This is a retrospective review of pregnant patients admitted to Fukui Prefectural Hospital with trauma during a 10-year period. Charts were reviewed for maternal age, gestational age, injury characteristics, Injury Severity Score, the presence of abdominal pain, systolic pressure and heart rate on arrival, fetal hemoglobin level, and maternal serum α-fetoprotein (MSAFP) concentration on arrival.

RESULTS: Fifty-one pregnant patients with any trauma were treated at Fukui Prefectural Hospital. All patients were hemodynamically stable and had minor trauma. An adverse pregnancy outcome occurred in three patients (5%). One patient's fetus had a left kidney injury. Intrauterine fetal death occurred in two patients. The time from injury to fatal death was 180 minutes in one patient and 18 hours in the other patient. The mean ± SD fetal hemoglobin was 0.57% ± 0.88%. The mean ± SD MSAFP was 511 ng/mL ± 1,263 ng/mL. Three patients with adverse pregnancy outcome had a high MSAFP of greater than 1,000 ng/mL.

CONCLUSION: High level of MSAFP may be a predictor of poor fetal outcome following trauma during pregnancy regardless of the severity of the trauma or the mother's hemodynamic status.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Epidemiologic study, level V.

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