Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 03/2012; 39(3):364-5. · 3.01 Impact Factor
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 03/2012; 39(3):362. · 3.01 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: There is significant variation in cut-off values for mean gestational sac diameter (MSD) and embryo crown-rump length (CRL) used to define miscarriage, values suggested in the literature ranging from 13 to 25 mm for MSD and from 3 to 8 mm for CRL. We aimed to define the false-positive rate (FPR) for the diagnosis of miscarriage associated with different CRL and MSD measurements with or without a yolk sac in a large study population of patients attending early pregnancy clinics. We also aimed to define cut-off values for CRL and MSD that, on the basis of a single measurement, can definitively diagnose a miscarriage and so exclude possible inadvertent termination of pregnancy.
This was an observational cross-sectional study. Data were collected prospectively according to a predefined protocol. Intrauterine pregnancy of uncertain viability (IPUV) was defined as an empty gestational sac or sac with a yolk sac but no embryo seen with MSD < 20 or < 30 mm or an embryo with an absent heartbeat and CRL < 6 mm or < 8 mm. We recruited to the study 1060 consecutive women with IPUV. The endpoint was presence or absence of a viable pregnancy at the time of first-trimester screening ultrasonography between 11 and 14 weeks. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were calculated for potential cut-off values to define miscarriage from MSD 8 to 30 mm with or without a yolk sac and from CRL 3 to 8 mm.
Of the 1060 women with a diagnosis of IPUV, 473 remained viable and 587 were non-viable by the time of the 11-14-week scan. In the absence of both embryo and yolk sac, the FPR for miscarriage was 4.4% when an MSD cut-off of 16 mm was used and 0.5% for a cut-off of 20 mm. There were no false-positive test results for miscarriage when a cut-off of MSD ≥ 21 mm was used. If a yolk sac was present but an embryo was not, the FPR for miscarriage was 2.6% for an MSD cut-off of 16 mm and 0.4% for a cut-off of 20 mm, with no false-positive results when a cut-off of MSD ≥ 21 mm was used. When an embryo was visible with an absent heartbeat, using a CRL cut-off of 4 mm the FPR for miscarriage was 8.3%, and for a CRL cut-off of 5 mm it was also 8.3%. There were no false-positive results using a CRL cut-off of ≥ 5.3 mm.
These data show that some current definitions used to diagnose miscarriage are potentially unsafe. Current national guidelines should be reviewed to avoid inadvertent termination of wanted pregnancies. An MSD cut-off of > 25 mm and a CRL cut-off of > 7 mm could be introduced to minimize the risk of a false-positive diagnosis of miscarriage.
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 11/2011; 38(5):497-502. · 3.01 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: We studied changes in mean gestational sac diameter (MSD) and embryonic crown-rump length (CRL) in intrauterine pregnancies of uncertain viability (IPUVs). We aimed to establish cut-off values for MSD and CRL growth that could be definitively associated with either viability or miscarriage, and to establish the relationship between growth in MSD and appearance of embryonic structures in the gestational sac.
One thousand and sixty consecutive IPUVs were recruited prospectively from four London University hospitals: 462 with no yolk sac or embryo, 419 with a yolk sac but no embryo, and 179 with an embryo but no heartbeat visible. IPUV was defined as an empty gestational sac with or without a yolk sac but no embryo seen with MSD < 20 or < 30 mm (depending on center) or an embryo with no heartbeat and CRL < 6 mm or < 8 mm (depending on center). Scans were repeated 7-14 days later. The endpoint was viability at first-trimester screening ultrasonography between 11 and 14 weeks. Change in MSD and CRL between the first and second scans of each pregnancy was compared with respect to viability and appearance of embryonic structures using the two-sample t-test.
The study included 359 pregnancies in which a gestational sac with or without embryo was identified at the follow-up scan 7-14 days later. Of these, 192 were viable and 167 non-viable at the 11-14-week scan. MSD growth was significantly higher in viable than non-viable pregnancies (mean 1.003 vs. 0.503 mm/day; P < 0.001, 95% CI of difference 0.403-0.596). A difference in CRL growth was found between the two groups (mean 0.673 vs. 0.148 mm/day; P < 0.001, 95% CI of difference 0.345-0.703). MSD growth of 0.6 mm/day was associated with a specificity for diagnosing miscarriage of 90.1%, a sensitivity of 61.7% and 19 false-positive test results. A cut-off of CRL growth rate of 0.2 mm/day gave a sensitivity of 76.3% and there were no false-positive test results for miscarriage. On repeat scan the failure of either a yolk sac or embryo to be visualized was always associated with miscarriage.
There is an overlap in MSD growth rates between viable and non-viable IPUV. No cut-off exists for MSD growth below which a viable pregnancy could be safely excluded. A cut-off value for CRL growth of 0.2 mm/day was always associated with miscarriage. These data suggest that criteria to diagnose miscarriage based on growth in MSD and CRL are potentially unsafe. However, finding an empty gestational sac on two scans more than 7 days apart is highly likely to indicate miscarriage, irrespective of growth.
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 08/2011; 38(5):503-9. · 3.01 Impact Factor