To assess fetal abnormalities leading to very late termination of pregnancy (VLTOP) performed after 32 weeks' gestation.
The study population included all pregnant women with singleton pregnancy that underwent VLTOP in our institute because of fetal indications between the years 1998 and 2015.
Fifty-seven cases (2.0%) were at ≥32 weeks' gestation and are the subjects of the current study. Our VLTOP cases were subdivided into four categories according to the sequence of events that led to the decision for VLTOP: (1) No routine prenatal screening with an incidental fetal finding discovered after 32 weeks' gestation (9 fetuses ∼16%); (2) Routine early prenatal care raised suspicion of abnormalities, and the final diagnosis was established by additional tests (8 fetuses, ∼14%); (3) Developmental findings detected during the third trimester (21 fetuses; ∼37%), and (4) fetal abnormalities that could have been detected earlier during pregnancy (19 fetuses; ∼33%).
The two categories in which the pregnant women did not underwent any fetal evaluation (i.e. group 1) or those that could have been detected earlier (i.e. group 4) consists ∼49% from our cohort in which VLTOP could have been avoided.