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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012 Dec;25(12):2686-9. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2012.717128. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

Cerclage for the prevention of preterm birth in high risk women receiving intramuscular 17-α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate.

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  • 1Department of Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham , Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.



To assess cerclage benefit in women with short cervix also receiving 17-α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) to prevent recurrent preterm birth (PTB).


Secondary analysis of a multicenter trial of ultrasound-indicated cerclage for shortened cervical length (CL). Women with prior spontaneous PTB at 16-33 6/7 weeks, singleton gestation and CL < 25 mm between 16 and 22 6/7 weeks were counseled on use of 17P and randomized to cerclage or no cerclage. Outcomes of women who received 17P were analyzed by randomization group. Primary outcome was PTB < 35 weeks.


99 women received 17P: 47 cerclage; 52 no cerclage. Rates of PTB < 35 weeks were similar, 30% for cerclage and 38% for no cerclage (aOR 0.64 (0.27-1.52)). In women with CL < 15 mm, PTB < 35 weeks was reduced for the cerclage group (17% vs. 75%, p = 0.02). However, this difference was nullified after controlling for total progesterone doses received (p = 0.40).


Cerclage was shown not to offer additional benefit for the prevention of recurrent PTB in women with short CL < 25 mm receiving 17P, but the sample size is insufficient for a definite conclusion given the 36% nonsignificant decrease in the odds of PTB < 35 weeks. Cerclage may further offer substantial benefit to women with very short CL < 15 mm and further study is needed.

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