Objectives The aims of this study were to describe and assess the feasibility of measuring cervical length by standard transvaginal sonography (TVS) and transperineal sonography (TPS) in women with a cervical pessary and compare these measurements with those obtained with a new transvaginal technique. Methods Measurement of cervical length by TPS was attempted immediately before measurement using TVS in 48 women with a cervical pessary at between 22 and 23 weeks' gestation. The TVS procedure consisted of two types of measurement: in the first, the probe was placed on the anterior fornix (standard technique) and in the second, the probe was inserted into the pessary to touch the anterior cervical lip (new technique). Two physicians consecutively performed these procedures and compared the measurements obtained. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) with 95% CI were used to evaluate interobserver reliability, and Bland-Altman analysis was used to assess interobserver agreement. Results In total, 258 measurements (obtained from 43 women) were analyzed. Interobserver ICCs of the measurements obtained were 0.58 (95% CI, 0.34-0.75) for TPS, 0.65 (95% CI, 0.44-0.79) for the standard TVS technique and 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95-0.98) for the new TVS technique. Bland-Altman analysis showed small mean differences between measurements obtained by two physicians for the three methods, but with narrower limits of agreements (LOA) for the new TVS technique: TPS mean difference - 0.99 mm (95% LOA, - 13.23 to 11.25 mm), standard TVS technique mean difference - 0.23 mm (95% LOA, - 10.90 to 10.44 mm) and new TVS technique mean difference - 0.01 mm (95% LOA, - 2.57 to 2.55 mm). It was apparent from the images obtained that the external os was not visible in 89% of cases when either the TPS or standard TVS technique was used. However, the external os was visible in all cases when the new TVS method was used. Conclusions We propose a new technique for measuring and monitoring cervical length in women with a cervical pessary that provides improved visualization of the cervix and increased reliability in comparison to established techniques. © 2011 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
|Journal||Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2011|
- cervical length
- cervical pessary
- preterm birth