Ultrasound technique can detect the risk of preterm labour in pregnant women, according to a new research. Premature births can mean low birthweights and other medical problems for newborns, but there are steps that doctors can take to reduce the chances of premature birth if early warning signs are detected.
The researchers did SWE measurements of 157 pregnant women who were already scheduled for ultrasounds at a maternity hospital in Paris. The researchers then followed each patient's pregnancy. They found that patients between 24 and 35 weeks pregnant who had below average cervical stiffness were at higher risk of going into preterm labour.
"This work is only a first step. We know the technique is reproducible. We know we can measure these changes in cervical stiffness. However, we need to do a longitudinal study that follows patients throughout pregnancy," Muller said.
The study was published in the journal Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology.