Prediction of patient-specific risk of early preterm delivery using maternal history and sonographic measurement of cervical length: a population-based prospective study




To develop a model for calculating the patient-specific risk of spontaneous early preterm delivery by combining maternal factors and the transvaginal sonographic measurement of cervical length at 22 + 0 to 24 + 6 weeks, and to compare the detection rate of this method to that achieved from screening by cervical length or maternal characteristics alone.


This was a population-based prospective multicenter study involving 40 995 unselected women with singleton pregnancies attending for routine hospital antenatal care in London, UK. Complete follow-up was obtained from 39 284 (95.8%) cases. The main outcomes were detection rate, false-positive rate and accuracy of predicting spontaneous delivery before 32 weeks' gestation.


Spontaneous delivery before 32 weeks occurred in 235 (0.6%) cases. The detection rate of screening for early preterm delivery, at a fixed false-positive rate of 10%, was 38% for maternal factors, 55% for cervical length and 69% for combined testing. There was good agreement between the model estimates and the observed probabilities of preterm delivery.


This study provides a model that can give an accurate patient-specific risk of preterm delivery. The detection rate of screening by a combination of maternal factors and the measurement of cervical length was substantially higher than that of screening by each method alone. Copyright © 2006 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.