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Keywords:

  • Preterm birth prevention;
  • cervical length screening;
  • transabdominal ultrasound;
  • transvaginal ultrasound

Abstract

Objective

To determine whether transabdominal cervical length screening could identify women at high risk for having a short cervix on transvaginal ultrasound.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Setting

Tertiary referral center.

Population

A total of 703 patients with a singleton pregnancy at 18 to 23+6 weeks of gestation who underwent transabdominal and transvaginal cervical length assessment during anatomy ultrasound at a single institution between January 2007 and October 2011.

Methods

Electronic medical records were reviewed to identify women who met the study criteria.

Main outcome measures

The primary outcome was the number of women with a short transabdominal cervical length (defined as ≤30 mm) who needed to undergo transvaginal ultrasound to detect one woman with a short transvaginal cervical length of ≤20 mm.

Results

In all, 703 patients were included in the primary analysis; 3.42 women with transabdominal cervical length ≤30 mm needed to undergo transvaginal ultrasound to detect one woman with transvaginal ultrasound cervical length ≤20 mm. Of women with short transvaginal cervical length ≤20 mm, 89.8% had a transabdominal measurement ≤30 mm and 96.7% had a transabdominal measurement ≤33 mm.

Conclusions

Screening of transabdominal cervical length may represent a useful strategy for detecting women with short cervix on transvaginal ultrasound.