The role of noninvasive diagnostic imaging in monitoring pregnancy and detecting patients at risk for preterm birth: a review of quantitative approaches

Hamid Helmi, Adeel Siddiqui, Yan Yan, Maryam Basij, Edgar Hernandez-Andrade, Juri Gelovani, Chaur Dong Hsu, Sonia S. Hassan, Mohammad Mehrmohammadi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Preterm birth (PTB) is the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. The ability to predict patients at risk for preterm birth remains a major health challenge. The currently available clinical diagnostics such as cervical length and fetal fibronectin may detect only up to 30% of patients who eventually experience a spontaneous preterm birth. This paper reviews ongoing efforts to improve the ability to conduct a risk assessment for preterm birth. In particular, this work focuses on quantitative methods of imaging using ultrasound-based techniques, magnetic resonance imaging, and optical imaging modalities. While ultrasound imaging is the major modality for preterm birth risk assessment, a summary of efforts to adopt other imaging modalities is also discussed to identify the technical and diagnostic limits associated with adopting them in clinical settings. We conclude the review by proposing a new approach using combined photoacoustic, ultrasound, and elastography as a potential means to better assess cervical tissue remodeling, and thus improve the detection of patients at-risk of PTB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-591
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Preterm birth
  • cervical length
  • cervical remodeling
  • cervix
  • elasticity
  • imaging
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • optical imaging
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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