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The outcome of cervical stitch in the prevention of pre-viable and preterm deliveries in Nigerian Tertiary Hospital

Obstetrics & Gynecology International Journal
Idowu Pius Ade-Ojo,<sup>1</sup> Temitope Omoladun Okunola,<sup>1</sup> Amos Amoo Odetola,<sup>2</sup> Adefunke Olarinre Babatola,<sup>3</sup> Tolulope Benedict Adeyanju<sup>4</sup>

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Background: Cervical incompetence, defined as the inability to sustain a pregnancy to term due to functional and anatomical defects of the cervix is a distressing cause of childlessness in Nigeria. Cervical cerclage, introduced into clinical practice by Shirodkar and McDonald in the 1950s still a time-tested intervention in the prevention of pregnancy wastages from
cervical incompetence.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to audit the outcome of the applications of cervical cerclages in the prevention of pregnancy wastages at the Maternity Complex of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital and Maternal and Child Specialists’ Clinic in Ekiti State, Southwest Nigeria.
Methods: In this prospective observational cohort study, we included all pregnant women who had cervical stitches applied over ten years, (2010-2019). Information on sociodemographic biodata, risk factors, indications, and outcomes were collated. Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS package, version 22 (SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL). Statistical significance of the categorical variables was tested using the chi-square or Fisher’s exact test, confidence level of 95%and P-value of 0.05.
Results: The 134 pregnant women diagnosed with cervical incompetence had cervical stitches applied over the ten years. 15,037 deliveries giving a prevalence rate of 0.89% of cervical incompetence. 75% were multigravida, while 92.5% were of low parity.
Risk factors found included recurrent mid-trimester abortions (55%), and prior cervical dilatation (20%). The cervical cerclages were history and physical examination indicated in 22.5% and 75% had ultrasound scanning confirmation. In the majority (82.5%), cervical cerclage was placed at 14-16 weeks using Mersilene tape in 92.5%. Spinal anesthesia and conscious sedation were administered in equal proportion. Majority had McDonald’s procedure (96.27%) whereas only 3.73% had Shirodkar’s. Placement to removal interval ranged from 10-20 weeks in 53%, while in 12.5% it lasted 4 weeks. The indications for
removal included pregnancy carried to term at 72.5%, preterm labor at 7.5%, and vagina bleeding occurred in 7.5% of cases. Vaginal deliveries were achieved in 62.5% while 25% had cesarean delivery. 7.5% expelled pre-viable fetuses. Cervical cerclage placement was successful in 75%, while 25% had failed cerclage. 10% of those who had failed cerclage had live births. We achieved 85% of babies take home. There was no significant association between the overall outcomes of cervical cerclage (inevitable abortion, preterm delivery, term delivery) and certain defined co-variables (age, gravidity, and parity). On multivariate
linear regression.
Conclusion: We recommend that timely application of cervical stitches will rescue women from pregnancy wastages associated with cervical incompetence in Ekiti State.


cervical insufficiency, cervical cerclage, pre-viable delivery, preterm delivery, Nigeria