St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) May 23, 2014
It is thought that as many of one-quarter of all second trimester miscarriages are caused by cervical incompetence, which is when a pregnant woman’s cervix begins to dilate and thin before the pregnancy reaches term, resulting in premature birth. A cervical cerclage (a procedure that stiches the cervix closed) can prevent premature delivery. But, is this procedure beneficial for all women with cervical incompetence? The team at the SSM St. Louis Fetal Care Institute is working to find the answer. With the help of $30,000 in grant funding from the Interwoven Souls Coalition, the SSM St. Louis Fetal Care Institute launched the "Cervical Insufficiency Biopsy at Time of Cerclage Study."
“Using a biopsy, we plan to look at the tissue of women who have had trouble with prior pregnancies, and are having a cervical cerclage placed,” SSM St. Louis Fetal Care Institute Director Emanual (Mike) Vlastos, MD. “This will give us the chance to see if there is a differentiation of tissue types between those with and without cervical insufficiency.”
If a differentiation is found, physicians may be able to screen patients before undergoing a cervical cerclage procedure, which involves placing sutures to close the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that leads to the vagina.
“The results of the study could allow us to run a non-invasive test to see if the cervical cerclage will likely be beneficial for the mother and her unborn baby,” says Vlastos. “If we find the key to this, we may be able to answer the ‘why’ behind cervical insufficiency, and help save the lives of these babies who are born too early.”
"The national average in approximately 2.9 cerclages for every 1,000 pregnancies, because we specialize in high-risk pregnancies at SSM St. Mary's Health Center, which can result in more mothers who need a cerclage, our rate is nearly 15 per 1,000," says Vlastos.
The study is planned to start this year at SSM St. Mary’s Health Center following approval by the Saint Louis University Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the SSM Research Business Review (RBR).
About The St. Louis Fetal Care Institute
The St. Louis Fetal Care Institute is a partnership between SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, SSM St. Mary’s Health Center and Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Bringing together renowned maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists, pediatric and fetal surgeons, specialized nurses, cutting-edge technology, and a family-oriented approach, The Institute offers state-of-the-art diagnostic methods and treatment options for families whose unborn babies are facing medical challenges. It is one of the leading comprehensive fetal care programs in the country offering a variety of fetal interventions and treatments, including open and minimally invasive fetal surgery for babies in the womb.
About the Interwoven Souls Coalition
Interwoven Souls Coalition is a non-profit organization that raises money for research and education relating to the complications arising from a multiples pregnancy and birth. Jonathan and Carol Sparks founded the organization following the premature birth and death of their twin sons, Cale and Nathan. There were not any complications with Carol’s pregnancy until she was 18-weeks along and went into early labor. The twin boys were born that day, and passed away minutes after delivery. The Sparks’ started looking for an answer to why this happened, and couldn’t find one. They started the organization to advance medical research so that families in their situation get to hear the sweet laughter of their children's voices. The Coalition also funded a study focused on twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome at the University of Chicago Medical Center.