Etiology

From 40% to 50% of women with abruptio placentae have underlying hypertension. Maternal trauma is the cause in 1.5% to 9.4%. The remainder can be associated with excessive alcohol consumption, cocaine use, sudden decompression of the uterus (as in delivery of first twin), retroplacental bleeding from needle puncture after amniocentesis, and possibly tobacco use. In a small group, no underlying association is found; abnormalities of uterine blood vessels and decidua likely exist in this idiopathic group.

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