Assessment of cervical elastography strain pattern and its association with preterm birth

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of the study was to assess the cervical strain pattern by an ultrasound elastography cervix examination and to determine its association with preterm delivery.

Methods:

In this study, 30 cases resulting in preterm birth and 30 gestational age-matched controls were included. A vaginal ultrasound examination with cervical length and elastography measurement was performed. We calculated four strain ratios (SR1-SR4) of the regions of interest (ROIs) arranged in pairs in four different positions on the anterior cervical lip. The strain ratios were correlated to the outcome of spontaneous preterm delivery. The inter-observer and intra-observer variability of the strain measurement was evaluated.

Results:

We observed an association between the value of the strain ratio that was calculated from the ROIs placed side by side in the middle of the anterior lip (SR4), and preterm delivery (P<0.001). The predictive values of cervical length and SR4 were comparable (AUC 0.7394; AUC 0.8322, respectively). The combination of cervical length and SR4 was superior in predicting preterm delivery compared to both parameters alone (AUC 0.8789). The inter-observer and intra-observer variability of data acquisition and measurement was excellent.

Conclusions:

Our study assesses the cervical elastography strain pattern and shows a correlation to a spontaneous preterm birth.

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