OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of intracervical hyaluronidase on the biomechanical properties of the cervix and on uterine contractility. STUDY DESIGN: Sprague-Dawley rats (n=33, term day 22) were injected with hyaluronidase (100 IU) or saline solution on day 8 of gestation (n=8-9/group). On day 21, labor was induced with mifepristone (8 mg/rat). Injection-to-delivery times were recorded. Biomechanical properties of the cervix were assessed using stretch-tension analysis. Myometrial contractility was investigated in response to hyaluronidase (0.2-200 IU/mL), oxytocin (10-10M to 10 -5M), and potassium chloride (60 mM). RESULTS: Delivery times were shorter in the hyaluronidase group (P= .03). Cervices of the treated animals showed higher measures of elasticity and plasticity (P= .02 for both). Myometrial sensitivity to hyaluronidase, oxytocin, or potassium chloride was not affected by the cervical application of hyaluronidase (P>.05 for all). CONCLUSION: Cervical hyaluronidase treatment shortens labor and alters the biomechanical properties of the cervix, independent of the myometrium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology