, Volume 287, Issue 4, pp 621-628
Date: 07 Feb 2013

Short cervix syndrome: current knowledge from etiology to the control

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Preterm delivery is one of the most serious public health problems and is the most important factor relating to neonatal morbidity and mortality. The strategies for preventing it include understanding the risk factors, with specific interventions. Recently, uterine cervix measurements using ultrasonography and vaginal administration of progesterone have gained importance in predicting and secondarily preventing spontaneous preterm delivery.


To describe the short cervix syndrome, including its etiology, diagnosis, and possible therapies.


Research in ISI, Pubmed, and Scielo database using the words short cervix, preterm delivery, sludge, cervical funneling, cervical gland area, progesterone, cerclage, and pessary.


We found a lot of articles about this topic, including randomized controlled trials. The etiology is multifactorial, being the diagnosis based in a cervix shortening at 20–24 weeks. The history and measurement of cervix length by transvaginal ultrasound have been shown to be effective to select the high risk pregnancies. The progesterone, cervical cerclage, and cervical pessary showed to be effective to reduce the preterm delivery in pregnant women with short cervix.


The successful management of pregnant women presenting a short cervix depends on the understanding that cervical shortening is the final common path for several causes of preterm delivery. The best approach should be individualized to each patient.