Could electrohysterography be the solution for external uterine monitoring in obese women?

M.W.C. Vlemminx, K.M.J. Thijssen, G.I. Bajlekov, Jeanne P. Dieleman, M.B. van der Hout-van der Jagt, S.G. Oei

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Objective: To evaluate the influence of maternal obesity on the performance of external tocodynamometry and electrohysterography. Study design: In a 2-hour measurement during term labor, uterine contractions were simultaneously measured by electrohysterography, external tocodynamometry, and intra-uterine pressure catheter. The sensitivity was compared between groups based on obesity (non-obese/obese/morbidly obese) or uterine palpation (good/moderate/poor), and was correlated to maternal BMI and abdominal circumference. Result: We included 14 morbidly obese, 18 obese, and 20 non-obese women. In morbidly obese women, the median sensitivity was 87.2% (IQR 74–93) by electrohysterography and 45.0% (IQR 36–66) by external tocodynamometry (p < 0.001). The sensitivity of electrohysterography appeared to be non-influenced by obesity category (p = 0.279) and uterine palpation (p = 0.451), while the sensitivity of tocodynamometry decreased significantly (p = 0.005 and p < 0.001, respectively). Furthermore, the sensitivity of both external methods was negatively correlated with obesity parameters, being non-significant for electrohysterography (range p-values 0.057–0.088) and significant for external tocodynamometry (all p-values < 0.001). Conclusions: Electrohysterography performs significantly better than external tocodynamometry in case of maternal obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-586
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Adult
  • Electromyography/methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor, Obstetric/physiology
  • Linear Models
  • Monitoring, Physiologic/methods
  • Obesity/complications
  • Obesity, Morbid/complications
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Uterine Contraction/physiology
  • Uterine Monitoring
  • Uterus/physiology


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