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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 826535, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/826535
Clinical Study

Quantitative Elastography for Cervical Stiffness Assessment during Pregnancy

1Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mathias-Spital Rheine, Frankenburgstraße 31, 48431 Rheine, Germany
2Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Franziskus Hospital, Hohenzollernring 72, 48145 Münster, Germany
3Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital of Udine, University of Udine, P.le S. M. Della Misericordia 1, 35100 Udine, Italy
4Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Münster, Albert-Schweitzer Campus 1, 48149 Münster, Germany

Received 31 October 2013; Revised 27 December 2013; Accepted 30 December 2013; Published 5 March 2014

Academic Editor: Irma Virant-Klun

Copyright © 2014 A. Fruscalzo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Aim. Feasibility and reliability of tissue Doppler imaging-(TDI-) based elastography for cervical quantitative stiffness assessment during all three trimesters of pregnancy were evaluated. Materials and Methods. Prospective case-control study including seventy-four patients collected between the 12th and 42nd weeks of gestation. The tissue strain (TS) was measured by two independent operators as natural strain. Intra- and interoperator intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) agreements were evaluated. Results. TS measurement was always feasible and exhibited a high performance in terms of reliability (intraoperator ICC-agreement = 0.93; interoperator ICC agreement = 0.89 and 0.93 for a single measurement and for the average of two measurements, resp.). Cervical TS showed also a significant correlation with gestational age, cervical length, and parity. Conclusions. TS measurement during pregnancy demonstrated high feasibility and reliability. Furthermore, TS significantly correlated with gestational age, cervical length, and parity.