Choosing Wisely:

Don’t perform routine cervical length screening for preterm birth risk assessment in asymptomatic women before 16 weeks of gestation or beyond 24 weeks of gestation.

Rationale and Comments: The predictive ability of cervical length measurement prior to 16 weeks of gestation for preterm birth risk assessment is limited. It should be performed, when indicated, between 16 and 24 weeks of gestation. Routine cervical length screening for preterm birth risk assessment in asymptomatic women beyond 24 weeks of gestation has not been proven to be effective.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • Sources:
  • Prospective cohort studies
  • Disciplines:
  • Obstetrical
  • References: • Iams JD, Goldenberg RL, Meis PJ, Mercer BM, Moawad A, Das A, Thom E, McNellis D, Copper RL, Johnson F, Roberts JM. The length of the cervix and the risk of spontaneous premature delivery. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit Network. N Engl J Med. 1996 Feb 29;334(9):567-72.
    • Conoscenti G, Meir YJ, D’Ottavio G, Rustico MA, Pinzano R, Fischer-Tamaro L, Stampalija T, Natale R, Maso G, Mandruzzato G. Does cervical length at 13–15 weeks’ gestation predict preterm delivery in an unselected population? Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Feb;21(2):128-34.
    • Ozdemir I, Demirci F, Yucel O, Erkorkmaz U. Ultrasonographic cervical length measurement at 10-14 and 20-24 weeks gestation and the risk of preterm delivery. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2007 Feb;130(2):176-9.
    • Berghella V, Talucci M, Desai A. Does transvaginal sonographic measurement of cervical length before 14 weeks predict preterm delivery in high-risk pregnancies? Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Feb;21(2):140-4.

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