Vaginal progesterone vs cervical cerclage for the prevention of preterm birth in women with a sonographic short cervix, previous preterm birth, and singleton gestation: a systematic review and indirect comparison metaanalysis

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Abstract

Objective

No randomized controlled trial has compared vaginal progesterone and cervical cerclage directly for the prevention of preterm birth in women with a sonographic short cervix in the mid trimester, singleton gestation, and previous spontaneous preterm birth. We performed an indirect comparison of vaginal progesterone vs cerclage using placebo/no cerclage as the common comparator.

Study Design

Adjusted indirect metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials.

Results

Four studies that evaluated vaginal progesterone vs placebo (158 patients) and 5 studies that evaluated cerclage vs no cerclage (504 patients) were included. Both interventions were associated with a statistically significant reduction in the risk of preterm birth at <32 weeks of gestation and composite perinatal morbidity and mortality compared with placebo/no cerclage. Adjusted indirect metaanalyses did not show statistically significant differences between vaginal progesterone and cerclage in the reduction of preterm birth or adverse perinatal outcomes.

Conclusion

Based on state-of-the-art methods for indirect comparisons, either vaginal progesterone or cerclage are equally efficacious in the prevention of preterm birth in women with a sonographic short cervix in the mid trimester, singleton gestation, and previous preterm birth. Selection of the optimal treatment needs to consider adverse events, cost and patient/clinician preferences.

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