2D ultrasound measurement finds chance of early birth

Measuring the fetal zone of the adrenal gland is a better predictor of preterm birth than measuring cervical length, according to research presented at the Society For Maternal-Fetal Medicine Feb. 4.

Measuring the fetal zone of the adrenal gland is a better predictor of preterm birth than measuring cervical length, according to research presented at the Society For Maternal-Fetal Medicine Feb. 4.

Three-D adrenal gland volume is a very accurate predictor of preterm birth, said Dr. Ozhan Turan, the study's lead author. However, most people in the world don't have access to 3D ultrasound technology, so the researchers created measurements that can be done with 2D ultrasound.

More than 60 patients who had preterm labor symptoms at 23 to 37 weeks gestation were studied. The researchers measured 3D adrenal gland volume and 2D depth of the whole gland, which they divided by the fetal zone. Preterm birth occurred at less than seven days after assessment for 20 women while 42 delivered seven days or more after assessment. Cervical length was similar in both groups, but adrenal gland volume (3D) and depth of the whole gland divided by fetal zone (2D) were higher in the first group, an indication that measuring the adrenal gland is effective in identifying the likelihood of preterm birth.