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The Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure and Cone Conundrum: The Role of Cumulative Excised Depth in Predicting Preterm Birth
Objective The objective was to determine factors associated with spontaneous preterm birth at less than 37 weeks in a cohort of patients who underwent a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) or cone prior to pregnancy.
Study Design This was a nested case-control study within a cohort of patients who underwent at least one LEEP or cone and had care for the next singleton pregnancy at either of two institutions between 1994 and 2014. Cases had spontaneous preterm birth at less than 37 weeks. Exposures included potential risk factors for preterm birth such as cumulative depth of excised cervix and time since excision. Reverse stepwise selection was used to identify the covariates for multivariable logistic regression.
Results A total of 134 patients were included. Eighteen (13%) had a spontaneous preterm birth at less than 37 weeks. Median second-trimester cervical lengths were similar between those who delivered preterm and term (3.9-cm preterm and 3.6-cm term, p = 0.69). Patients who delivered preterm had a significantly greater median total excised depth of cervix (1.2 vs. 0.8 cm, p = 0.04). After adjustment for confounders, total excised depth remained significantly associated with preterm birth (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.3–3.8).
Conclusion Total excised depth should be considered in addition to cervical length screening when managing subsequent pregnancies.
A history of a LEEP or cone excision has been associated with spontaneous preterm birth.
A two-fold increase in spontaneous preterm birth was seen per cumulative centimeter excised.
There was no difference in second-trimester cervical length between the term and preterm groups.
Keywordscervical dysplasia - cervical excision - cervical length - cone biopsy - loop electrosurgical excision procedure - preterm birth
This study was previously presented as an oral presentation at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's 40th Annual Pregnancy Meeting, February 3–8, 2020, Grapevine, TX.
Received: 21 August 2020
Accepted: 08 October 2021
Article published online:
04 February 2022
© 2022. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
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