R. E. Garfield, PhD

Director of Division of Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, USA

It is a pleasure for me to organize a monograph on the diagnosis and treatment of preterm labor/birth for Facts, Views & Visions in ObGyn. In doing so, I sought to obtain papers from around the globe from some of the leading authors of papers on preterm labor and birth, and on function of the uterus and cervix during pregnancy. I thank all the authors for their manuscripts and I am particularly grateful to Professor Ombelet for his patience and guidance in preparation of this issue. Preterm birth remains one of the most important problems in medicine today. The subject of preterm birth was recently reviewed in Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth (see and download at http://www.who.int/pmnch/media/news/2012/preterm_birth_report/) edited by CP Howson, MV Kinney, JE Lawn of the World Heath Organization, Geneva, 2012. How to diagnosis and treat preterm labor and imminent preterm birth are the most challenging questions facing physicians caring for pregnant patients. In the past 10 years we have come full circle back to considering treatment of preterm birth with progestins. Thus, in this review we obtained facts, views and visions from investigators that have concentrated their studies on the mechanisms for progestin action on the uterus and cervix. We also acquired opinions from outstanding scientists and clinicians on function of the myometrium during pregnancy, and also considered postterm pregnancy. It is hoped by all the contributors that someday our studies and others will lead to better care of pregnant patients faced with the prospects of preterm birth.