Twin pregnancies treated with emergency or ultrasound-indicated cerclage to prevent preterm births

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Introduction: Multiple gestations are high-risk pregnancies associated with an increased risk of neonatal morbidity and mortality, mainly due to preterm births. Numerous interventions have been attempted in order to delay the time of delivery and subsequently, prevent preterm births in twin gestations. To date, no really effective intervention has been found. Use of cerclage in twin pregnancies has been controversial. Recently, however, small retrospective cohort studies have shown a potentially positive effect with the use of cerclage in twin pregnancies. The aim of this study was to evaluate pregnancies and neonatal outcomes in twin gestations with a short cervix treated with cervical cerclage at a single University Hospital. Methods: This retrospective cohort study included all women–with twin gestation and a short cervix–who had an ultrasound indicated or emergency cervical cerclage at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Denmark between January 1999 and May 2017. Cervical cerclage was offered to women before 26 weeks of gestation if: (1) the cervix at ultrasound was ≤20 mm without cervical dilatation (ultrasound-indicated cerclage), or (2) the cervix at ultrasound was ≤20 mm with cervical dilatation (emergency cerclage). Women with history-indicated cerclage placement or multifetal embryo reduction were excluded. A total of 65 women participated in the study. Results: The median gestational age at cerclage placement was 22.6 weeks with a median cervical length of 10 mm (range 0–20 mm). The frequency of preterm delivery before 32 weeks of gestation was 41.5% and 27.7% before 28 weeks. Median pregnancy latency was 77 days (range 4–148) and the median gestational age at delivery was 33.0 weeks. Gestational age at delivery was significantly lower among women with cervical dilatation and visible membranes than among women with a short cervix only (27.7 versus 33.6 weeks, p <.01) and so was the median pregnancy latency (48 versus 81 days, p <.05). Overall, neonatal survival was 91.5%. Conclusion: Cervical cerclage in twin pregnancies may prolong pregnancy even when placed on a very short or dilated cervix. In our study, the procedure was safe and without any serious complications. The overall neonatal survival rate was high.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Pages (from-to)3227-3232
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Cerclage, cervical cerclage, emergency cerclage, preterm delivery, twins

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