Pessary for prevention of preterm birth in twin pregnancy with short cervix: 3-year follow-up study

J. van ‘t Hooft* (Corresponding Author), J. H. van der Lee, B. C. Opmeer, A. G. van Wassenaer-Leemhuis, A. L. van Baar, D. J. Bekedam, L. J.P. Steenis, S. Liem, E. Schuit, C. Cuijpers, E. Bleeker, M. E. Vinke, N. Simons, I. M. de Graaf, B. W.J. Mol, C. van de Beek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: A recent randomized clinical trial (ProTWIN) showed that a cervical pessary prevented preterm birth and improved neonatal outcome in women with multiple pregnancy and cervical length (CL) < 38 mm. In this follow-up study, the long-term developmental outcome of these children was evaluated at 3 years' corrected age. Methods: This was a follow-up study of ProTWIN, a multicenter trial conducted between 2009 and 2012 in which asymptomatic women with a multiple pregnancy were randomized to placement of a cervical pessary or no intervention. Current follow-up and analysis were limited to mothers with a mid-trimester CL < 38 mm (78 women (157 children) in the pessary group and 55 women (111 children) in the control group). At 3 years of corrected age, surviving children were invited for a Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-third edition (Bayley-III) assessment. Death after randomization or neurodevelopmental disability (Bayley-III score of ≤ 85, 1 SD below mean) rates were compared between the pessary and control groups, according to the intention-to-treat principle and using multiple imputation for missing data. Mean Bayley-III scores in surviving children were also assessed. A linear mixed-effects model was used to adjust for correlation between children of one mother. Results: From the time of entry in the ProTWIN trial until follow-up at 3 years of age, a total of 27 children had died (six (5%) in the pessary vs 21 (26%) in the control group; odds ratio (OR), 0.13; 95% CI, 0.04–0.48). Bayley-III outcomes were collected for 173/241 (72%) surviving children (114 (75%) in the pessary vs 59 (66%) in the control group). The cumulative incidence of death or survival with a neurodevelopmental disability was 12 (10%) in the pessary vs 23 (29%) in the control group (OR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.09–0.73). No statistical or clinically relevant differences were found with respect to cognitive, language and motor development among surviving children between the groups. Comparable results were found after multiple imputation. Conclusion: In women with twin pregnancy and a CL < 38 mm, the use of a cervical pessary strongly improved survival of the children without affecting neurodevelopment at 3 years' corrected age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-628
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
Early online date5 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

The original ProTWIN study was funded by ZonMW number 20031004. The follow-up study was funded by the Academic Medical Center.

Data Availability Statement

The following supporting information may be found in the online version of this article: Table S1


  • Bayley
  • follow-up
  • pessary
  • preterm birth


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