Objectives: To confirm our previous observation that levator hiatal dimensions and mean echogenicity of the puborectalis muscle (MEP) are significantly different at 12 weeks' gestation in women who delivered by Cesarean section due to failure to progress compared with those who delivered vaginally. The secondary objective was to assess the association between the echogenicity of the cervix and vastus lateralis muscle and mode of delivery. Methods: In this prospective multicenter study, 306 nulliparous women with a singleton pregnancy underwent ultrasound assessments of the pelvic floor at rest, on maximum pelvic floor muscle contraction and on maximum Valsalva maneuver, of the cervix and of the vastus lateralis muscle at 12 weeks' gestation. Dimensions of the levator hiatus, MEP and mean echogenicity of the cervix and vastus lateralis muscle were measured and compared according to mode of delivery. Results: Two hundred and forty-nine women were included in the analyses. We were unable to confirm our previous finding that MEP and levator hiatal transverse diameter and area at 12 weeks' gestation are associated significantly with mode of delivery. In addition, we could not demonstrate a significant association between echogenicity of the cervix or vastus lateralis muscle and mode of delivery. Overall, MEP was a mean of 20 points lower in women in the new database as compared with the previous study, despite the use of the same ultrasound equipment. Conclusion: In a second, independent multicenter dataset, we were unable to confirm our previous finding that levator hiatal dimensions and MEP on pelvic floor muscle contraction are associated significantly with mode of delivery. We also found no association between echogenicity of the cervix or vastus lateralis and mode of delivery.
- transperineal ultrasound
- vastus lateralis