Published: 2019-09-26

History-indicated transvaginal cerclage: results from a single-centre

Carolina C. Gomes, Diana C. Almeida, Elisabete Gonçalves, Ana P. Silva


Background: Cervical incompetence occasionally results in mid-trimester pregnancy loss, preterm labour and increased foetal morbimortality. History-indicated cerclage is proposed when obstetric history suggests cervical incompetence. The aim of this study was to evaluate the maternal-foetal outcomes following prophylactic cervical cerclage.

Methods: Retrospective study reviewing data of all women undergoing transvaginal history-indicated cerclage from January 1st, 2008 to December 31th, 2017 at Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve - Faro. Primary outcome: gestational age <37weeks at birth. Secondary outcomes: neonatal morbimortality and intensive care unit (NICU) admission and maternal morbidity. Data were analyzed with IBM SPSS Statistics 23.

Results: A total of 12 history-indicated cerclages were performed (9 women). At first cerclage, mean maternal age, gestity, parity and live children were 27.6, 2.44, 1.11 and 0.78 (87.7% preterm), respectively. At cerclage placement, mean gestational age and cervical length were 16.1 weeks and 27.5mm. Average hospital admission was 10.7 days. In all cases McDonald technique was performed. Four hospital readmissions occurred for threatened labour. Mean gestational age at cerclage removal was 36.9 weeks (83.3% in ambulatory) and 38.9 at delivery. Average time between cerclage removal and labour was 14.5 days. Spontaneous onset of labour occurred in 75% and vaginal delivery in 83.4%. There were no reports of preterm birth, foetal admission to NICU or maternal complications. Mean number of live children after procedure was 1.58.

Conclusions: Prophylactic cervical cerclage seems to improve pregnancy outcome with minimal maternal risks. However, our data suggest over inclusion of women, with unnecessary procedures, emphasizing the importance of re-evaluating inclusion criteria.


Cervical cerclage, Cervical stitch, Cervical insufficiency, Cervico-isthmic incompetence, Preterm birth, Pregnancy loss

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