Prior cerclage: To repeat or not to repeat? That is the question

Jacquelyn J. Pelham, Dawnette Lewis, Vincenzo Berghella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Our objective was to compare obstetrical outcomes of women with a prior cerclage for nontraditional indications who in the subsequent pregnancy either received a history-indicated cerclage or were followed by transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) cervical length (CL). All women with a history- or ultrasound- indicated cerclage in a prior pregnancy and who had a subsequent pregnancy were retrospectively identified from a preexisting database of women at risk for preterm birth between 1995 and 2002. Only women who reached ≥12 weeks of gestation were included for analysis. Women with a diagnosis other than classic cervical insufficiency were managed in the subsequent pregnancy either by history-indicated cerclage or by serial TVU CL. The primary outcome was spontaneous preterm birth <35 weeks. We identified 56 women with a prior cerclage for nontraditional indications. In the subsequent pregnancy, 28 women were followed with TVU and 28 matched controls received history-indicated cerclage. The groups were matched for demographics and risk factors. There were no differences between the two groups in the incidence of preterm labor <35 weeks (21% versus 11%; p = 0.5), preterm premature rupture membranes <35 weeks (7% versus 11%; p = 1.0), spontaneous preterm birth <35 weeks (11% versus 11%; p = 1.0), or the gestational age at delivery (36.3 ± 6.6 versus 36.5 ± 5.6; p = 0.5). We concluded that in women with prior cerclage for indications other than classic cervical insufficiency, repeat history-indicated cerclage may not improve outcome compared with management with TVU CL follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-420
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerclage
  • Cervical incompetence
  • Cervical insufficiency
  • Cervical length
  • Transvaginal ultrasound


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