Aim: To evaluate the role of Doppler waveforms of uterine vessels and electromyography (EMG) of the uterus in predicting preterm labor.
Methods: One hundred ante-natal women at ≥24 weeks of gestation who fulfilled the selection criteria were included in the study. A single Doppler recording for bilateral uterine vessels was taken at ≥26 weeks gestation using the transvaginal route. Transabdominal EMG of the uterus was recorded serially at 4-week intervals from 24 weeks until delivery or until 37 weeks were completed.
Results: Women with a sensation of heaviness in the lower abdomen during pregnancy had a significant association with preterm delivery. Of the three Doppler indices, the systolic/diastolic ratio and the resistivity index of uterine vessels were found to have a sensitivity as high as 83–95% for the prediction of preterm labor. The electrical activity of uterine musculature, as recorded using EMG, showed that there was a statistically significant difference between the electrical activity recorded for the two groups at 31 weeks and later, while the duration of burst activity was significantly longer in the preterm group at 26 weeks and later.
Conclusions: Patients with a dull aching sensation in the lower abdomen should not be neglected. Doppler of the uterine vessels and EMG of the uterus could prove to be a good predictor of preterm labor.