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Objective: To evaluate circulation of the lower uterine segment (LUS) using three-dimensional power Doppler ultrasound (3DPD) in patients after Cesarean section (CS) and uncomplicated vaginal delivery (VD).
Study design: We evaluated 60 patients after CS and 60 patients after uncomplicated VD by ultrasound admitted at the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin, Comenius University in Bratislava and University Hospital Martin, Slovakia, from November 2021 to February 2023. A spherical volume of 15 cc was captured for each patient with a 3D transabdominal probe. We used an ultrasound software program Virtual Organ Computer-aided Analysis (VOCAL) to calculate three vascular indices – vascularization index (VI), flow index (FI), and vascularization-flow index (VFI). We also assessed Doppler indices in the uterine arteries (UtA). The measurements were taken 48 hours postpartum.
Results: There was a significant difference in all three vascular indices between the studied and controlled group with a p-value ˂ 0.001. We observed a significant inverse correlation between vascular indices and pulsatility index (PI) in UtA in the VD group, but we found no such correlation in the CS group.
Conclusion: Although it is still not well understood, 3DPD can be a suitable ultrasound method to study postpartum uterine circulation. Our results proved significant differences in vascularization and perfusion in LUS in patients after CS vs. VD. Therefore, 3DPD may be useful in the ultrasound assessment of healing areas after CS. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study analyzing vascular indices in LUS during puerperium in patients both after VD and CS.