Imaging Technology 3D Maps Uterine Contractions In Real-Time

Researchers have created new imaging technology that can generate 3D maps in real-time and across the full surface of the uterus during labor, revealing the magnitude and distribution of uterine contractions. This technology, which builds on imaging techniques long used to image the heart, can image uterine contractions noninvasively and in much more detail than current tools, which can only detect the existence or absence of a contraction.

Researchers are upgrading the traditional method of measuring labor contractions, known as tocodynamometry, from one-dimensional tracing to four-dimensional mapping with this novel imaging technology. Preterm birth, which happens in about 10% of pregnancies globally, can be prevented by finding methods to improve care for patients with high-risk pregnancies.

The uterus contracts during labor and delivery to exert the energy necessary to expel the fetus, and a new technique for detecting these contractions is known as electromyometrial imaging. (EMMI). For instance, such technology could assist in identifying the kinds of early contractions that result in preterm birth and assist academics in finding strategies to reduce or end these early contractions.

According to researchers, new imaging technology, EMMI, could be used in the following therapeutic settings: In individuals with preterm contractions, differentiating between productive and nonproductive contractions can help forecast preterm birth. Monitoring labor contractions in real time to optimize pharmaceutical treatment and prevent labor complications such as labor arrest. Keeping an eye on uterine movements to avoid postpartum bleeding. Creating potential non-pharmaceutical treatments, like gentle electrical inputs, to normalize contraction patterns. Examining uterine disorders other than pregnancy, like endometriosis and painful menstruation.

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