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Ultrasound. 2016 Nov;24(4):222-232. Epub 2016 Oct 6.

The effectiveness of intrapartum  ultrasonography in assessing cervical dilatation, head station and position: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Nursing, Radiography and Healthcare, University of Derby, UK; Department of Sonography, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
2
Department of Nursing, Radiography and Healthcare, University of Derby, UK.
3
Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

Abstract

The objective of this review was to assess the effectiveness of intrapartum ultrasonography in measuring cervical dilatation, head station and position. Electronic literature searches were carried out of MEDLINE, CINAHL, and Web of Knowledge, plus manual reference list checks of all relevant articles. All published prospective studies comparing intrapartum ultrasonography with digital VE in the determination of cervical dilatation, head station and position were then evaluated for the success rate and level of agreement between ultrasonography and digital VE. Ultrasonography had higher success rate than digital VE in the determination of fetal head position, with a statistically significant difference in the first stage of labour. Second, although the successful determination of cervical dilatation was in favour of digital VE, the difference was not statistically significant. In addition, there was high agreement between ultrasound and digital VE findings on cervical dilatation. Lastly, a significant but moderate correlation between digital VE and ultrasound methods was found in the assessment of fetal head station. However, no meta-analysis could be done for the fetal head station due to the methodological differences between ultrasound anatomical landmarks and that of digital VE. The findings suggest that ultrasonography is superior to digital VE in the assessment of fetal head position, but has moderate correlation with digital VE in the assessment of head station. It also showed high agreement with digital VE in the assessment of cervical dilatation with no statistically significant difference in terms of success rate.

KEYWORDS:

Intrapartum; cervical dilatation; digital VE; head station; position; ultrasonography

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