American researchers have developed a new method to non-invasively and accurately image uterine contractions during childbirth. For example, they write in Nature Communications.
There are several methods available to visualize uterine contractions. But according to the researchers, these do not always provide doctors with the necessary information to diagnose both problems during childbirth and premature births.
That is why Hui Wang et al. developed a new method in which they visualize the three-dimensional electrical activation of the uterus during contractions using electromyometrial imaging (EMMI). EMMI combines MRI with electrical activity data obtained from electrodes placed on the abdomen to reconstruct uterine contractions.
Hui Wang et al used EMMI to visualize the contractions of ten women for the study. To this end, they placed a maximum of 192 electrodes on the abdominal surface of the pregnant women. This provided detailed 3D images and quantification of uterine contractions.
However, according to the researchers, there are still a number of things they would like to improve on the current EMMI method. For example, they want to speed up the application of the electrodes, improve wearing comfort and reduce costs by developing cheap, elastic, disposable electrode patches. In addition, the researchers want to optimize the number of electrodes and the distribution of the electrodes over the abdominal surface.