Obstet Gynecol Sci.  2017 Jan;60(1):1-7. 10.5468/ogs.2017.60.1.1.

Elastographic measurement of the cervix during pregnancy: Current status and future challenges

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Research Institute of Medical Science, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hwanghs@kuh.ac.kr

Abstract

The cervix is a cylindrical structure that is proximally connected to the uterus and distally to the vaginal cavity. The Bishop score has been used to evaluate the cervix during pregnancy. However, alternatives have been evaluated because the Bishop score is uncomfortable for patients, relies on a subjective examination, and lacks internal os data. Elastography has been used to assess the cervix, as it can estimate tissue stiffness. Recent articles on elastography for cervical assessment during pregnancy have focused on its usefulness for prediction of preterm birth and successful labor induction. There is a clinical need for cervical elastography, as an evaluation of biomechanical factors, because cervical length only assesses morphological changes. However, until now, cervical elastography has been studied in the limited field, and not shown a uniformed methodological technique. In this review, the current status, limitations, and future possibility of cervical elastography were discussed. Future studies should focus on overcoming the limitations of cervical elastography. Although the cervical elastography is presently an incompletely defined technique, it needs to be improved and evaluated as a method for use in combination with cervical length.

Keyword

Cervix uteri; Elastography; Labor induction; Premature birth

MeSH Terms

Cervix Uteri*
Elasticity Imaging Techniques
Female
Humans
Methods
Pregnancy*
Premature Birth
Uterus
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