Research News

Thinner thread is better for cervical stitch procedure, say researchers

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 04 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4305
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

Switching to a thinner thread for cervical cerclage could reduce the numbers of premature births and intrauterine baby deaths, say researchers in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Their study found that the thicker thread most commonly used in cervical stitches could encourage the growth of dangerous bacteria.1

If women are at high risk of late miscarriage or premature birth, surgeons place a stitch in the cervix to hold it closed to delay labour. In around 80% of cases surgeons use multifilament: a 5 mm thread comprising several small threads woven together. It is believed to be stronger and more efficient at holding the cervix closed than the alternative monofilament nylon thread, which is around 1 mm thick.

The study assessed birth outcomes in a retrospective …

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