Electrohysterography for uterine monitoring during term labour compared to external tocodynamometry and intra-uterine pressure catheter

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

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Abstract

Objective Current uterine monitoring techniques have major drawbacks that could be avoided when using electrohysterography for uterine monitoring. Recently, a new electrohysterography method has been developed, providing a real-time tocogram on standard cardiotocography monitors. The diagnostic characteristics of this novel method need to be determined and compared to conventional methods We hypothesised that electrohysterography can perform better than external tocodynamometry due to the adhesive properties of the contact electrodes (less motion sensitive), and the improved signal acquisition through subcutaneous tissue (less obesity sensitive). Study design In this prospective diagnostic accuracy study, uterine contractions of labouring women were simultaneously monitored by three different monitoring techniques: electrohysterography, external tocodynamometry, and intra-uterine pressure catheter as method of reference. We performed a two-hour measurement during first and/or second stage of term labour. The contractions of each method were automatically detected by a computer-based algorithm. As the applied method had not been described in literature before, an interim analysis was performed to minimise exposure to the invasive pressure catheter. The main outcome parameter was the sensitivity of electrohysterography in comparison to external tocodynamometry for uterine contraction detection, tested by the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Results Uterine contractions of 48 term labouring women were simultaneously monitored by electrohysterography, external tocodynamometry, and intra-uterine pressure catheter. The study was terminated after the interim analysis as the sensitivity of electrohysterography was significantly higher compared to external tocodynamometry: median 89.5% (interquartile range (IQR); 82–93) and 65.3% (IQR; 53–81) respectively, p < 0.001. In a subgroup analysis of obese women (n = 15), the sensitivity of electrohysterography was significantly higher than external tocodynamometry (median 88.4% (IQR; 79–95) and 45.8% (IQR; 38–61) respectively, p < 0.001). Whereas in a subanalysis of second stage of labour (n = 8), electrohysterography did not perform better than external tocodynamometry (median 72.8% (IQR; 61–87) and 66.4% (IQR; 46–75) respectively, p = 0.225). Electrohysterography registered 0.4 more contractions per 10 min than the intra-uterine pressure measurement (p < 0.001) and 0.5 more contractions per 10 min than external tocodynamometry (p < 0.001). Conclusion Electrohysterography has a higher sensitivity for uterine contraction detection than external tocodynamometry during first stage of labour, in non-obese and obese women. Electrohysterography identifies more contractions than conventional techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Volume215
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

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Keywords

  • Cardiotocography (MeSH)
  • Electrohysterography
  • External tocodynamometry
  • Intra-uterine pressure catheter
  • Uterine monitoring (MeSH)
  • Prospective Studies
  • Humans
  • Uterine Monitoring
  • Labor, Obstetric/physiology
  • Electromyography/methods
  • Monitoring, Physiologic/methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Uterine Contraction/physiology
  • Uterus/physiology
  • Adult
  • Female

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