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Minerva Ginecologica 2001 October;53(5):351-6

language: Italian

Current clinical features of septic abortion in western countries. A series of cases observed during 1998 at the 1st and 2nd department of obstetrics and gynecology of the University of Rome ''La Sapienza''

Spina V., Bertelli S., Bartucca B., Bonessio L., Aleandri V.


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Background. Advances in diagnostic techniques and therapy and the institution of both legislative measures and Centres for the protection of mother-infant health are major factors to which the reduced incidence of septic abortion in should probably be ascribed in Western Countries, where it reaches approximately 10%. The aim of this study was to analyse the current problems related to this pathology in a Western Country, such as Italy.
Methods. Cases of septic abortion observed at the I and II Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of University of Rome ''La Sapienza'' during 1998 were retrospectively analysed.
Results. 42 cases of septic abortion were observed. Fever was present in 100% of cases, genital bleeding in 57%, abdominal-pelvic pain in 16.7%, genital purulent discharge in one case (2.4%), pain of the fornices at vaginal examination in another (2.4%). Leucocytosis was detected in 21.5% of patients. Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) occurred in one patient (2.4%). No maternal deaths were observed. Antibiotic therapy was carried out in 81% of cases, a uterine curettage in 95.2%.
Conclusions. Currently, the possibility of early diagnosis of abortion due to the routine use of ultrasonography and, as a consequece, of early antibiotic therapy, whenever a sepsis is suspected, account for the predominance of mild or even doubtful clinical pictures of this pathology in Western Countries. Nevertheless, severe complications are possible in the case of septic abortion, including septicaemia, septic shock, DIC, renal insufficiency. Thus, a correct and careful attitude of prophylaxis and therapy is required.

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