Listed in Issue 212


SENDON and COLLEAGUES, Pole d'obstetrique, hopital Jeanne-de-Flandre, CHRU de Lille, 1 rue Eugene-Avinee, Lille cedex, France.  investigated maternal perception of both anxiety and pain before and after amniocentesis (AC) to determine factors associated with pain and anxiety, and evaluate the pain support.


Invasive prenatal diagnosis procedures are numerous and more or less painful and stressful. The purpose of this study was to investigate maternal perception of both anxiety and pain before and after amniocentesis (AC) or trans abdominal chorionic villus sampling (CVS), to determine factors associated with pain and anxiety, and to evaluate the pain support.


This is a prospective study evaluating the professional practices at CHRU of Lille between March and May 2009 with 132 AC and 22 CVS by aspiration. An original questionnaire has been elaborated in three parts: the first one fulfilled by patients before the procedure, the second one, after the procedure, and the last one by the medical team. Statistical comparisons have used the Chi(2) test, the Fisher exact test, the Student's t test and the U test of Mann Whitney.


The anxiety level is high but does not differ between the two groups AC and CVS. CVS are more painful than AC (EVA 5.77 versus 3.07, P<0.0001). No predisposing factor for anxiety has been found. On the other side, procedures are more painful when they are long lasting, considered difficult by the medical team, when needles used are large, the number of needle insertions increases, puncture is performed along a side of the uterus, patients are anxious, and then procedure indication is an hygroma. Patients are satisfied in 98.7% of cases of the support of the medical team. Few drug treatments was prescribed (only 4.5%), however, patients are generally applicant.


An analgesic, anxiolytic, or a relaxation technique can be proposed to anxious and applicant patients undergoing CVS. Technical conditions of the procedure are more difficult to improve, however, we should use if possible thinner needles, and avoid, wherever technically possible, the punctures on the lateral side of the uterus. Finally, further studies seem necessary for the evaluation of a treatment protocol.


Sendon S, Salleron J, Bourzoufi K, Dutoit P, Vaast P and Houfflin-Debarge V. [Assessment of anxiety, pain and its management in prenatal diagnosis procedures]. [French]  Journal de Gynecologie, Obstetrique et Biologie de la Reproduction. 40(3):246-54, 2011 May.

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