Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 10, pp 3398–3407 | Cite as

US and MR imaging findings to detect placental adhesion spectrum (PAS) in patients with placenta previa: a comparative systematic study

  • V. RomeoEmail author
  • L. Sarno
  • A. Volpe
  • M. I. Ginocchio
  • R. Esposito
  • P. P. Mainenti
  • M. Petretta
  • R. Liuzzi
  • M. D’Armiento
  • P. Martinelli
  • A. Brunetti
  • S. Maurea



To compare the performance US and MR in identifying placental adhesion spectrum (PAS) in placenta previa (PP) and to establish a potential method of image interpretation.


US and MR examinations of 51 patients with PP were selected. The presence of imaging signs commonly used to detect PAS was assessed. Penalized logistic regression was performed considering histology as standard of reference; only signs statistically significant (p < 0.05) were considered for ROC and multivariate analysis. The probability of PAS according to the presence of US and/or MR signs was then assessed.


At univariate analysis, loss of retroplacental clear space, myometrial thinning (MT) and placenta lacunar spaces on US, intraplacental dark bands (IDBs), focal interruption of myometrial border (FIMB) and abnormal vascularity (AV) on MR were statistically significant (p < 0.01). Three diagnostic methods for PAS were then developed for both US and MR when at least one (Method 1), two (Method 2) or three (Method 3) imaging signs occurred, respectively. Method 2 for MR showed a significantly (p < 0.05) higher accuracy (91%) compared to the other methods. When MR IDBs and AV as well as IDBs and FIMB were present in combination with US MT the probability of PAS increased from 75 to 90% and from 80 to 91%, respectively.


MR demonstrated a higher diagnostic accuracy than US to detect PAS. However, since the combination of MR and US signs could improve the probability to detect PAS, a complementary diagnostic role of these techniques could be considered.


Ultrasound (US) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Placenta previa Placental adhesion spectrum (PAS) Diagnostic accuracy 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Romeo
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. Sarno
    • 2
  • A. Volpe
    • 1
  • M. I. Ginocchio
    • 1
  • R. Esposito
    • 2
  • P. P. Mainenti
    • 3
  • M. Petretta
    • 4
  • R. Liuzzi
    • 3
  • M. D’Armiento
    • 1
  • P. Martinelli
    • 2
  • A. Brunetti
    • 1
  • S. Maurea
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Advanced Biomedical SciencesUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Neuroscience, Reproductive and Dentistry SciencesUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  3. 3.Institute of Biostructures and Bioimaging of the National Research Council (IBB–CNR)NaplesItaly
  4. 4.Department of Translational Medical SciencesUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly

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