Current Implementation of Universal Cervical Length Screening for Preterm Birth Prevention in the United States [19]

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

To evaluate the incidence of implementation of universal cervical length (CL) screening for preterm birth (PTB) prevention among institutions with Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) fellowship training in the United States.

METHODS:

In January 2015, we conducted a national survey of institutions with MFM Fellowship Programs regarding implementation of universal CL screening, defined as CL screening of women with singleton gestations without a prior spontaneous PTB. We also identified whether a transabdominal ultrasound (TAU) or transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) was used for screening. Results were compared by geographical regions. We also assessed if a low obstetrical volume (annual deliveries<3000) affected implementation of TVU CL screening program.

RESULTS:

We identified 78 MFM fellowship programs, of which 100% responded to the survey. Fifty-three programs (68%) had implemented a CL screening program, with 25 programs (32%) using TVU while the rest (36%) used TAU for CL screening. The Midwest had the highest percent of CL screening (94%), with the highest use of TVU (50%). The South had the lowest percent of CL screening (58%) (OR 0.52 [0.19–1.46]) and the lowest use of TVU (12.5%) (OR 0.22 [0.05–0.78]) compared to rest of the United States. Lower annual obstetrical volume did not affect the likelihood of implementing a program using TVU (7.6%) compared to programs having higher obstetrical volume (24.3%) (OR 0.73 [0.24–2.17]).

CONCLUSION/IMPLICATIONS:

Universal CL screening has been implemented by over two thirds of institutions with MFM Fellowship Programs. Of these programs, approximately half screen by TAU and half by TVU.

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