To estimate the procedure‐related risk of miscarriage after amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) based on a systematic review of the literature and an updated meta‐analysis.
A search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and The Cochrane Library was carried out to identify studies reporting complications following CVS or amniocentesis. Eligible for inclusion were large controlled studies reporting data for pregnancy loss prior to 24 weeks’ gestation. Study authors were contacted when required to identify additional necessary data. Data for cases that had an invasive procedure and controls were inputted into contingency tables and the risk of miscarriage was estimated for each study. Summary statistics based on a random‐effects model were calculated after taking into account the weighting for each study included in the systematic review. Procedure‐related risk of miscarriage was estimated as a weighted risk difference from the summary statistics for cases and controls. Subgroup analyses were performed according to the similarity in risk levels for chromosomal abnormality between the invasive‐testing and control groups. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 statistic. Egger’s bias was estimated to assess reporting bias in published studies.
The electronic search yielded 2943 potential citations, from which 12 controlled studies for amniocentesis and seven for CVS were selected for inclusion in the systematic review. A total of 580 miscarriages occurred following 63 723 amniocentesis procedures, resulting in a weighted risk of pregnancy loss of 0.91% (95% CI, 0.73–1.09%). In the control group, there were 1726 miscarriages in 330 469 pregnancies with a loss rate of 0.58% (95% CI, 0.47–0.70%). The weighted procedure‐related risk of miscarriage following amniocentesis was 0.30% (95% CI, 0.11–0.49%; I2 = 70.1%). A total of 163 miscarriages occurred following 13 011 CVS procedures, resulting in a risk of pregnancy loss of 1.39% (95% CI, 0.76–2.02%). In the control group, there were 1946 miscarriages in 232 680 pregnancies with a loss rate of 1.23% (95% CI, 0.86–1.59%). The weighted procedure‐related risk of miscarriage following CVS was 0.20% (95% CI, −0.13 to 0.52%; I2 = 52.7%). However, when studies including only women with similar risk profiles for chromosomal abnormality in the intervention and control groups were considered, the procedure‐related risk for amniocentesis was 0.12% (95% CI, −0.05 to 0.30%; I2 = 44.1%) and for CVS it was −0.11% (95% CI, −0.29 to 0.08%; I2 = 0%).
The procedure‐related risks of miscarriage following amniocentesis and CVS are lower than currently quoted to women. The risk appears to be negligible when these interventions were compared to control groups of the same risk profile. Copyright © 2019 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.