Standardized approach for imaging and measuring Cesarean section scars using ultrasonography

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Abstract

Incomplete healing of the scar is a recognized sequel of Cesarean section (CS) and may be associated with complications in later pregnancies. These complications can include scar pregnancy, a morbidly adherent placenta, scar dehiscence or rupture. To date there is uncertainty relating to the factors that lead to poor scar healing and how to recognize it. In recent years, there has been an increase in studies using ultrasound that describe scars as deficient, or poorly, incompletely or inadequately healed with few data to associate the morphology of the scar with the functional integrity of the lower segment of the uterus. There have been multiple attempts to describe CS scars using ultrasonography. Different terminology, methods and results have been reported, yet there is still no consensus regarding the prevalence, clinical significance or most appropriate method to describe the appearances of these scars. Developing a test that can predict the likelihood of women having problems associated with a CS scar is becoming increasingly important. On the other hand, understanding whether the ultrasound appearances of the scar can tell us anything about its integrity is not well supported by the research evidence. In this article we present an overview of ultrasound-based definitions and methods used to describe CS scars. We also present information relating to the performance of alternative techniques used to evaluate CS scars. Having examined the current evidence we suggest a standardized approach to describe CS scars using ultrasound so that future studies can be meaningfully compared. Copyright © 2012 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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