Cervical light-induced fluorescence in humans decreases throughout gestation and before delivery: Preliminary observations

Holger Maul, Gayle Olson, Cordula T. Fittkow, George R. Saade, Robert E. Garfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate gestational changes of cervical light-induced fluorescence, an index of cross-linked collagen, and the relationship between light-induced fluorescence and the time-to-delivery interval. STUDY DESIGN: Fifty patients were included in one of two groups. (1) Twenty-one healthy pregnant women without signs of labor underwent repeated cervical light-induced fluorescence measurement during the last trimester. (2) Light-induced fluorescence was measured in 29 patients with signs of labor, and the time from measurement to delivery was noted. Cervical light-induced fluorescence was obtained noninvasively with a prototype instrument that was designed specifically for this purpose. Spearman correlation and the Student t test and receiver-operator characteristics analysis were performed (P < .05). RESULTS: Light-induced fluorescence correlated negatively with gestational age and positively with time-to-delivery interval, was significantly lower in patients who were delivered <24 hours compared with those patients who were delivered >24 hours later, and was predictive of delivery within 24 hours. CONCLUSION: Cervical light-induced fluorescence decreases significantly as gestational age increases. Light-induced fluorescence may be a useful tool to identify patients in whom delivery is imminent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-541
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003


  • Cervical ripening
  • Labor
  • Light-induced fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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