Montevideo unit

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Montevideo unit

Obstetrics A graphic portrayal of uterine activity that corresponds to the product of the uterine contractions/10 mins multiplied by the intensity of the contractions–the average intrauterine pressure peaks of all contractions in the same 10 min span. See Deceleration.

Mon·te·vi·de·o unit

(mon'tĕ-vi-dā'ō yū'nit)
A unit of uterine contraction intensity in labor, defined as the peak pressure achieved by the contraction minus the baseline tone.
[fr. Montevideo, Uruguay, where developed]

Montevideo unit

(mon″tā-vi-dā′ō) [ Montevideo, Uruguay, where the procedure was developed],


The sum of the intrauterine pressures (measured in mm Hg) recorded during all the contractions of the uterus during a consecutive ten-minute period of labor.

Patient care

After an intrauterine pressure catheter is inserted, the baseline intrauterine pressure is recorded. The difference between the baseline pressure and the pressure during each contraction of the uterus in a 10-min period is calculated. For example, in a patient with a baseline uterine pressure of 15 mm Hg, and four intrauterine contractions, each of which has a peak pressure of 70 mm Hg, the difference is (70−15 = 55). The sum of these four pressure differences (in this idealized case: MVU = 4 × 55 = 220) is compared to a normal standard. An MVU of > 200 predicts normally progressive labor 90% of the time. An MVU < 200 suggest protraction of labor or frank arrest of labor.