Evaluation of Threatened Preterm Delivery by Transvaginal Ultrasonographic Measurement of Cervical Length

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Abstract

Objective:

To establish a nomogram for the length of the uterocervical canal and to determine whether this can be used to predict preterm delivery.

Methods:

Cervical length was measured by transvaginal ultrasonography in 32. women (21 primigravid, 11 multigravid) with threatened preterm delivery, and in 177 normal singleton pregnancies between 18-37 weeks' gestation. Regression analysis was used to create the nomogram. Student t test was used to compare the groups.

Results:

A linear relationship was found between cervical length and gestational age (r=—0.4, P < .001). Comparison of cervical length on admission in the patients with threatened preterm delivery showed that 11 preterm deliveries occurred in women who had a mean cervical length of 23.2 mm (range 17-29), whereas 21 term deliveries occurred in women with a mean cervical length of 31.7 mm (range 21-42). The difference was significant (P < .001). A cervical length of less than 20 mm on admission had a positive predictive value of 100%. These patients had preterm delivery despite tocolytic therapy during hospitalization.

Conclusion:

The risk of preterm delivery is high in women whose cervical length on admission is less than 30 mm, and strict management is required for those with a cervical length of less than 20 mm.

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