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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1987 Sep;157(3):665-9.

Management of the diethylstilbestrol-exposed pregnant patient: a prospective study.


Over a 5-year period we have managed 63 diethylstilbestrol-exposed pregnant patients with a standardized protocol requiring weekly cervical examination and decreased physical activity of the patient. Twenty-six patients (42%) underwent a prophylactic cerclage for a history of second-trimester loss or a hypoplastic cervix on initial clinical examination (group I). Thirty-six patients (58%) were followed expectantly (group II). Sixteen patients (44%) in group II demonstrated cervical change and required an emergency cerclage. Twenty-one patients were managed expectantly with no cerclage. The gestational age at delivery for group I was 37.7 +/- 2.80 versus 34.5 +/- 6.9 weeks for patients without a cerclage (p = 0.04). There were no perinatal deaths if a cerclage was performed, whereas there were five deaths (24%) in the group without cerclage. The five deaths occurred at a mean gestational age of 24.40 +/- 4.0 weeks and a mean birth weight of 614.00 +/- 441.73 gm. Patients with a hypoplastic cervix or prior reproductive loss had a better outcome with early cerclage than patients with a normal cervix followed expectantly. We presently lack a reliable method to detect the diethylstilbestrol-exposed patient at greatest risk for perinatal loss. Based on our experience we believe that placement of a cerclage early in pregnancy should be a strong consideration.

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