When labor is induced in pregnant women, one in five women will require an emergency cesarean section. A recently published study has demonstrated an effective way to predict such cases (Lu J, Cheng YKY, Ho SYS, Sahota DS, Hui LL, Poon LC, Leung TY. The predictive value of cervical shear wave elastography in the outcome of labor induction. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2019 Nov 5. doi:. 10.1111/aogs.13706).
The strategy adopted assessed the stiffness of the cervix before labor is induced, using the imaging technique of shear wave elastography. The method was tested in 475 women, 17.3% of whom required an emergency cesarean section.
The authors conclude that shear wave elastography is a useful tool in pre‐induction of labor assessment of the stiffness of the cervix, which is an independent predictor of overall caesarean section. “Our study suggests that in the future, ultrasonic assessment of the cervix may replace manual assessment in providing more objective and precise information on the condition of the cervix, which may lead to better management of induction of labor,” said senior author Dr. Tak Yeung Leung, of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.