Prediction of preterm birth using artificial intelligence: a systematic review

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2022 Aug;42(6):1662-1668. doi: 10.1080/01443615.2022.2056828. Epub 2022 Jun 1.


Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal death. It is challenging to predict preterm birth. We elucidated the state of artificial intelligence research on the prediction of preterm birth, clarifying the predictive values and accuracy. We performed a systematic review using three databases (PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus) in August 2020, with keywords as 'artificial intelligence,' 'deep learning,' 'machine learning,' and 'neural network' combined with 'preterm birth'. We included 22 publications between 2010 and 2020. Regarding the predictive values, electrohysterogram images were mostly used, followed by the biological profiles, the metabolic panel in amniotic fluid or maternal blood, and the cervical images on the ultrasound examination. The size of dataset in most studies was hundred cases and too small for learning, although only three studies used the medical database over a hundred thousand cases. The accuracy was better in the studies using the metabolic panel and electrohysterogram images. Impact statementWhat is already known on this subject? Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn morbidity and mortality. Presently, the prediction of preterm birth in individual cases is still challenging.What the results of this study add? Using artificial intelligence such as deep learning and machine learning models, clinical data could lead to accurate prediction of preterm birth.What the implications are of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? The size of the datasets was too small for the models using artificial intelligence in the previous studies. Big data should be prepared for the future studies.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence; prediction; preterm birth; preterm labour; probability learning; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Amniotic Fluid / metabolism
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Cervix Uteri
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Premature Birth* / diagnosis
  • Premature Birth* / metabolism