To estimate if cerclage prevents preterm birth and perinatal mortality and morbidity in women with previous preterm birth, singleton gestation, and short cervical length in a meta-analysis of randomized trials.DATA SOURCES:
MEDLINE, PUBMED, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched using the terms “cerclage,” “short cervix,” “ultrasound,” and “randomized trial.”METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION:
We included randomized trials of cerclage in women with short cervical length on transvaginal ultrasonography, limiting the analysis to women with previous spontaneous preterm birth and singleton gestation.TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS:
Patient-level data abstraction and analysis were accomplished by two independent investigators. Five trials met inclusion criteria. In women with a singleton gestation, previous spontaneous preterm birth, and cervical length less than 25 mm before 24 weeks of gestation, preterm birth before 35 weeks of gestation was 28.4% (71/250) in the cerclage compared with 41.3% (105/254) in the no cerclage groups (relative risk 0.70, 95% confidence interval 0.55–0.89). Cerclage also significantly reduced preterm birth before 37, 32, 28, and 24 weeks of gestation. Composite perinatal mortality and morbidity were significantly reduced (15.6% in cerclage compared with 24.8% in no cerclage groups; relative risk 0.64, 95% confidence interval 0.45–0.91).CONCLUSION:
In women with previous spontaneous preterm birth, singleton gestation, and cervical length less than 25 mm, cerclage significantly prevents preterm birth and composite perinatal mortality and morbidity.