"The results in predicting dystocia were highly accurate," Dr. Ami said. "Our simulation predictions seem to be a significant improvement over pelvimetry."
Pelvimetry, which measures the pelvis manually or by imaging to determine its adequacy for childbirth, is commonly used but not entirely reliable, according to Dr. Ami.
"A small pelvis may be able to deliver without problems, and a big pelvis might require mechanical help during childbirth," he said. "This uncertainty raises the rate of C-sections."
In the U.S., C-sections account for approximately one-third of all births. In France, the rate of mechanical problems is 30 percent, two-thirds of which are emergency procedures.
"An emergency C-section has six to seven times more morbidity and mortality than a planned C-section," Dr. Ami said. "With this virtual childbirth software, the majority of C-sections could be planned rather than emergency, and difficult instrumental extractions might disappear in the near future."
Coauthors are Lucie Cassagnes, M.D., Jean-Francois Uhl, M.D., Didier Lemery, M.D., Ph.D., Vincent Delmas, Gérard Mage, M.D., Ph.D., and Louis Boyer, M.D.
Note: Copies of RSNA 2011 news releases and electronic images will be available online at RSNA.org/press11 beginning Monday, Nov. 28.
RSNA is an association of more than 48,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)
For patient-friendly information on MRI, visit RadiologyInfo.org.
AT A GLANCE
|SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)|
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