Noninvasive measurement of uterine emg propagation and power spectrum frequency to predict true preterm labor and delivery
A method operable to more accurately predict true preterm labor and delivery is provided. Trans-abdominal uterine electromyography (EMG) and power spectrum (PS) analysis can identify electrical signals characteristic of labor at term and preterm with relatively high positive and negative predictive values. The use of propagation velocity (PV) of uterine EMG signals may either be done independently or in conjunction with PS analysis. This method involves applying at least two pairs of electrodes to a maternal abdomen. The time associated with measuring a voltage spike of a propagating myometrial wave traveling through the pairs of electrodes allows the amount of time required for the propagating myometrial wave to transverse the distance between electrodes to be determined.With this information a propagation velocity (PV) of the propagating myometrial wave may be determined. This PV may be compared to a labor positive predictive value (PPV). A favorable comparison indicates an increased probability of true preterm labor and delivery.