Performance of an automatic quantitative ultrasound analysis of the fetal lung to predict fetal lung maturity

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Dec;207(6):504.e1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2012.09.027. Epub 2012 Oct 1.


Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the performance of automatic quantitative ultrasound analysis (AQUA) texture extractor to predict fetal lung maturity tests in amniotic fluid.

Study design: Singleton pregnancies (24.0-41.0 weeks) undergoing amniocentesis to assess fetal lung maturity (TDx fetal lung maturity assay [FLM]) were included. A manual-delineated box was placed in the lung area of a 4-chamber view of the fetal thorax. AQUA transformed the information into a set of descriptors. Genetic algorithms extracted the most relevant descriptors and then created and validated a model that could distinguish between mature or immature fetal lungs using TDx-FLM as a reference.

Results: Gestational age at enrollment was (mean [SD]) 32.2 (4.5) weeks. According to the TDx-FLM results, 41 samples were mature and 62 were not. The imaging biomarker based on AQUA presented a sensitivity 95.1%, specificity 85.7%, and an accuracy 90.3% to predict a mature or immature lung.

Conclusion: Fetal lung ultrasound textures extracted by AQUA provided robust features to predict TDx-FLM results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amniocentesis
  • Amniotic Fluid
  • Female
  • Fetal Organ Maturity*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / methods*