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A Five Century Evolution of Cervical Incompetence as a Clinical Entity

[ Vol. 11 , Issue. 6 ]


S. M. Althuisius and G. A. Dekker   Pages 687 - 697 ( 11 )


Since cervical incompetence was introduced in the English literature in 1678, our understanding and obstetric management of this clinical entity, have changed tremendously over the years. This review shows the historical perspective of the development of cervical incompetence as a distinct clinical entity and an all or nothing phenomenon to cervical incompetence as part of a spectrum leading to preterm delivery, which can express differently in subsequent pregnancies. These changes in our understanding imply consequences for the obstetric management of cervical incompetence. This review focuses on the obstetric management of women considered to be at high risk of preterm delivery due to cervical incompetence, by transvaginal ultrasonographic follow-up of cervical length and transvaginal cervical cerclage.


cervical incompetence, cervical length, transvaginal cervical cerclage, bed rest, preterm delivery


Vrije Universiteit medical center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, De Boelelaan 1117, 1081HV Amsterdam, POBox 7057, 1007MB Amsterdam.

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