Lateral Compression–I Pelvic Ring Injury: Not Benign to the Developing Fetus

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To determine whether certain patterns of pelvic ring injury are associated with more frequent intrauterine fetal demise (IUFD).


Retrospective review.


Level 1 trauma center.


Of 44 pregnant patients with pelvic and/or acetabular fractures, 40 had complete records that allowed determination of fetal viability. χ2 tests were used for categorical variables (Fisher exact tests when expected cell counts were fewer than 5), and t tests were used for continuous variables.

Main Outcome Measurements:

Fetal or maternal death.


Sixteen patients had isolated acetabular fractures, 25 had isolated pelvic ring injuries, and 3 had acetabular fractures with concomitant pelvic ring injuries. Maternal and fetal mortality were 2% and 40%, respectively. No patients with isolated acetabular fractures experienced IUFD, compared with 68% (15/22) of those with isolated pelvic ring injuries (P < 0.0001). Eight (53%) of 15 IUFDs were associated with lateral compression (LC)-I pelvic ring injuries (Orthopaedic Trauma Association/Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen 61-B2). Of the 13 LC-I pelvic ring injuries, 8 (62%) resulted in IUFD. Pelvic ring stability, Young–Burgess classification, and operative treatment were not associated with IUFD. Maternal Glasgow Coma Scale (average 13.2) and Injury Severity Score (average 18.2) at admission were predictive of IUFD.


The most frequent pelvic fractures in gravid trauma patients are LC-I. Although the rate of maternal mortality was low, the risk of IUFD was quite high (40%). LC-I pelvic ring injuries often had catastrophic outcomes, with IUFD in 62% of cases.

Level of Evidence:

Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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