In Vivo Measurement of Cervical Elasticity on Pregnant Women by Torsional Wave Technique: A Preliminary Study
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AuthorMassó Guijarro, Paloma; Callejas Zafra, Antonio Manuel; Melchor, Juan; Molina, Francisca; Rus Carlborg, Guillermo
Torsional waveCervixPregnancyCervical stiffness
Massó, P., Callejas, A., Melchor, J., Molina, F. S., & Rus, G. (2019). In Vivo Measurement of Cervical Elasticity on Pregnant Women by Torsional Wave Technique: A Preliminary Study. Sensors, 19(15), 3249.
SponsorshipThis research was funded by the Ministry of Education grant numbers DPI2017-83859-R, DPI2014-51870-R and UNGR15-CE-3664, Ministry of Health grant numbers DTS15/00093 and PI16/00339, and Junta de Andalucía grant numbers, PI-0107-2017 and PIN-0030-2017.
A torsional wave (TW) sensor prototype was employed to quantify stiffness of the cervix in pregnant women. A cross-sectional study in a total of 18 women between 16 weeks and 35 weeks + 5 days of gestation was performed. The potential of TW technique to assess cervical ripening was evaluated by the measurement of stiffness related to gestational age and cervical length. Statistically significant correlations were found between cervical stiffness and gestational age (R2 = 0.370, p = 0.0074, using 1 kHz waves and R2 = 0.445, p = 0.0250, using 1.5 kHz waves). A uniform decrease in stiffness of the cervical tissue was confirmed to happen during the complete gestation. There was no significant correlation between stiffness and cervical length. A stronger association between gestational age and cervical stiffness was found compared to gestational age and cervical length correlation. As a conclusion, TW technique is a feasible approach to objectively quantify the decrease of cervical stiffness related to gestational age. Further research is required to evaluate the application of TW technique in obstetric evaluations, such as prediction of preterm delivery and labor induction failure.