The aim of this study was to compare time-domain waveform analysis of second-trimester uterine artery Doppler using the resistance index (RI) with waveform analysis using a mathematical tool known as wavelet transform for the prediction of pre-eclampsia (PE). This was a retrospective, nested case-cohort study of 336 women, 37 of whom subsequently developed PE. Uterine artery Doppler waveforms were analysed using both RI and waveform analysis. The utility of these indices in screening for PE was then evaluated using receiver operating characteristic curves. There were significant differences in uterine artery RI between the PE women and those with normal pregnancy outcome. After wavelet analysis, significant difference in the mean amplitude in wavelet frequency band 4 was noted between the 2 groups. The sensitivity for both Doppler RI and frequency band 4 for the detection of PE at a 10% false-positive rate was 45%. This small study demonstrates the application of wavelet transform analysis of uterine artery Doppler waveforms in screening for PE. Further prospective studies are needed in order to clearly define if this analytical approach to waveform analysis may have the potential to improve the detection of PE by uterine artery Doppler screening.
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