Ultrasound measurement of fetal adrenal gland a better predictor of preterm birth

Feb 04, 2010

In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Chicago, researchers will unveil findings that show that measuring the fetal zone of the adrenal gland is a better predictor of pre-term birth than measuring cervical length.

Researchers with the University of Maryland and Yale University have followed up on early research that they conducted using 3D ultrasound methods.

"We previously discovered that 3D adrenal gland volume (AGV) is a very accurate predictor of ," said Dr. Ozhan Turan, the study's author. "However most people around the world don't have access to that technology, therefore, we have created measurements that can be done with 2D ultrasound that are very effective to predict pre-term birth."

In the study, patients presenting with preterm labor symptoms had ultrasound measurement of the cervical length (CL) and fetal adrenal gland dimension. Using 3D ultrasound with VOCAL cAGV (AGV/ Estimated fetal weight), 2D depth of the whole-gland (D) and fetal zone (d) were measured. The d/D ratio was calculated as an index of FZE. The cAGV, d/D and CL were compared for prediction of preterm birth within seven days.

Sixty-two singletons with preterm labor at 23-37 wks´ gestation were studied. Measurement-to-delivery interval only correlated with cAGV and d/D (r=-0.32 p=0.011 and r=-0.47 p=0.001respectively) but not CL (p=0.83). Twenty women had preterm birth at less than seven days (Group A) while 42 (Group B) delivered in seven days or more from initial assessment. While CL was similar (p=0.5) cAGV and d/D were higher in group A (p< 0.0001 for both). roc area under the curve was significantly greater for cagv and d/d than for cl (0.82, 0.91 and 0.59, p< 0.01 and 0.001 respectively, fig) without any significant differences between adrenal gland measurements. using roc derived cutoffs for preterm birth in less than seven days was best predicted by d/d and cagv but not cl.

"Prior to this we haven't had a good method to predict who will present with pre-term labor." said Dr. Turan. "Measuring the cervical length leads to a high percentage of false positives and also it has limited sensitivity," he continued. "Hopefully, if adopted, this method will allow for an easy inexpensive way to identify real pre-term deliveries. Therefore we will be better managing these pregnancies."

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

Provided by Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Preterm birth linked to lifelong health issues

Mar 25, 2008

The healthcare implications of being born premature are much broader and reach further into adulthood than previously thought, according to a long-term study of more than a million men and women by Duke University and Norwegian ...

Folic acid cuts risk of premature birth

Feb 01, 2008

A U.S study suggests that women who take folic acid supplements before they become pregnant can cut their risk of having a premature baby by half.

More babies born prematurely, new report shows

Dec 06, 2007

The preterm birth rate rose again in 2005 and preliminary data for 2006 show a continued increase, underscoring the urgent need for a sustained, comprehensive plan to address this growing crisis.

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...