Condition category
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Date applied
27/11/2014
Date assigned
03/12/2014
Last edited
11/04/2016
Prospective/Retrospective
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Every year about 3750 women in the UK will have complications where their cervix (the neck of the womb) becomes loose and opens during the early months of pregnancy. This can require a stitch being sewn into the cervix in an attempt to keep it closed. This is often referred to as ‘cervical suture’ or ‘cervical cerclage’. If this procedure is not performed the cervix can open too early and can result in a miscarriage or premature birth. Inserting a stitch into the cervix does not guarantee to keep the cervix closed, but it can sometimes allow the pregnancy to continue for a few more weeks. The stitches used for this procedure are available in different sizes and materials. Some of the stitch threads are made from a single, smooth fibre (e.g. nylon) while others are composed of many fibres which are woven to form a fine braided or net-like structure. A survey of consultants in the UK has shown most use braided threads when they stitch the cervix merely because it is the traditional material used and because it is thought to offer strength and enhanced support to an otherwise loose cervix. However, this survey also revealed that some surgeons thought that bacteria could grow more easily in the spaces of the braided thread than on the surface of the monofilament line. This could increase the risk of infection, which might cause an early labour. It is therefore essential to investigate whether the type of thread used for stitching the cervix increases or decreases the risk of infection. This study will therefore compare outcomes from the use of either smooth or braided stitches during this procedure.

Who can participate?
Eligible pregnant women can opt to be part of the study if they are due a planned stitch in their cervix between 12 and 22 weeks into their pregnancy.

What does the study involve?
The best way to compare the two methods of treatment is to undertake a clinical trial where the nature of the stitch used is decided randomly. Participants will be randomly allocated to receive either a monofilament suture or a braided suture to place a cervical cerclage. Apart from the type of thread used, participants will receive identical medical treatment to those not taking part in the study. Information will be collected concerning the risk of losing a baby during pregnancy or within a week of birth, the number of weeks the pregnancy lasted prior to birth, whether the baby was admitted to a Neonatal Unit, the length of stay in the unit and any sign of vaginal or womb infection.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
As any participant has been advised that they will need a cervical stitch they will not gain any additional benefit by taking part in the study. Similarly, there are no additional risks associated with taking part above those associated with the cerclage itself. Seeing what bacteria grow on the vaginal swab and removed stitch will help doctors decide if the woman taking part in the study needs any antibiotics. By taking part participants will help doctors decide which is best type of thread to offer to women requiring a cervical stitch in the future. The results of this study can potentially save the lives of more than 300 babies a year in the UK alone who would otherwise be at risk of severe prematurity or miscarriage.

Where is the study run from?
Birmingham Women's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, King's College Hospital, Leeds General Infirmary, Royal Victoria Infirmary, University College Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, Barts and The London Hospital, University College London Hospital, St. Thomas' Hospital, Hammersmith / Queen Charlotte's Hospital, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (UK).

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
March 2015 to March 2018.

Who is funding the study?
NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme - HTA (UK).

Who is the main contact?
1. Ms Joy Rahman (public)
J.K.Rahman@bham.ac.uk
2. Professor Khalid Ismail (scientific)
k.ismail@bham.ac.uk

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Public

Primary contact

Ms Joy Rahman

ORCID ID

Contact details

Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit
School of Health and Population Sciences
University of Birmingham
Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1214148335
J.K.Rahman@bham.ac.uk

Type

Scientific

Additional contact

Prof Khalid Ismail

ORCID ID

Contact details

School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
University of Birmingham
Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

1.0; HTA 13/04/107

Study information

Scientific title

Cerclage Suture Type for an Insufficient Cervix and its effect on Health outcomes (C-STICH)

Acronym

C-STICH

Study hypothesis

Every year approximately 3750 women in the UK will have complications where their cervix (the neck of the womb) becomes loose and opens during the early months of pregnancy. This can require a stitch being sewn into the cervix in an attempt to keep it closed. This is often referred to as ‘cervical suture’ or ‘cervical cerclage’. If this procedure is not performed the cervix can open too early and can result in a miscarriage or premature birth. Inserting a stitch into the cervix does not guarantee to keep the cervix closed, but it can sometimes allow the pregnancy to continue for a few more weeks.

The stitches used for this procedure are available in different sizes and materials. Some of the stitch threads are made from a single, smooth fibre (e.g. nylon) while others are composed of many fibres which are woven to form a fine braided or net-like structure. A survey of consultants in the UK has shown most use braided threads when they stitch the cervix merely because it is the traditional material used and because it is thought to offer strength and enhanced support to an otherwise loose cervix. However, this survey also revealed that some surgeons thought that bacteria could grow more easily in the spaces of the braided thread than on the surface of the monofilament line. This could increase the risk of infection which might cause an early labour. It is therefore essential to investigate whether thread-type used for stitching the cervix increases or decreases risk of infection.

More details can be found at http://www.nets.nihr.ac.uk/projects/hta/1304107
Protocol can be found at http://www.nets.nihr.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/136995/PRO-13-04-107.pdf

Ethics approval

Cambridgeshire & Hertfordshire (East of England), 04/03/2015, ref: 14/EE/1293

Study design

Multicentre open randomised controlled trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Hospitals

Trial type

Treatment

Patient information sheet

Condition

Insufficient cervix

Intervention

Using either a monofilament suture or a braided suture to place a cervical cerclage

Intervention type

Procedure/Surgery

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

To examine the effect of using monofilament suture material compared with braided suture material on pregnancy loss rate (i.e. miscarriage and perinatal mortality, defined as any stillbirth or neonatal death in the first week of life) in women presenting with an insufficient cervix and treated with cervical cerclage

Secondary outcome measures

Maternal:
1. Gestation at delivery
2. Mode of initiation of labour
3. Mode of delivery
4. Adverse events: suture-related cervical tears, chorioamnionitis, maternal pyrexia of 38C, systemic infection requiring antibiotics (infection parameters based on Centre for Disease Control/National Healthcare Safety Network [CDC/NHSN] guidance)

Neonatal:
1. Late neonatal death, defined as a death beyond 7 days and before 28 days after delivery
2. Length of stay in neonatal unit (including level of care)
3. Severe abnormality on cranial ultrasound scan
4. Oxygen dependency at 36 weeks corrected gestation
5. Necrotising enterocolitis (Bell’s stage 2 or 3)
6. Retinopathy of prematurity requiring laser treatment

Microbiological:
Full cultures will be undertaken to identify the complete range of potentially pathogenic bacteria isolated from the suture and cervix. The likely significance of microorganisms isolated from each clinical sample will be assessed in the context of clinical evidence of infection in the mother and her baby.

Overall trial start date

01/03/2015

Overall trial end date

01/03/2018

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Singleton pregnancy
2. Indication for cervical cerclage (any of the below):
2.1. A history of three or more previous midterm losses or premature births (≤ 28 weeks)
2.2. Insertion of cervical sutures in previous pregnancies
2.3. A history of midtrimester loss or premature birth with a shortened (≤ 25 mm) cervix
2.4. Women whom clinicians deem to be at risk of preterm birth either by history or the results of an ultrasound scan and in whom the placement of a cervical cerclage is considered the most appropriate treatment

Participant type

Patient

Age group

Adult

Gender

Female

Target number of participants

900

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Women aged less than 16 years old at the time of presentation
2. Those with a multiple pregnancy
3. Those requiring a rescue cerclage
4. Women who are unwilling or unable to give informed consent

Recruitment start date

01/03/2015

Recruitment end date

01/04/2016

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Birmingham Women's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Birmingham
B15 2TG
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Birmingham
B15 2TH
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Royal Infirmary
Edinburgh
EH16 4SA
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

King's College Hospital
London
SE5 9RS
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Leeds General Infirmary
Leeds
LS1 3EX
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Royal Victoria Infirmary
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 4LP
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University College Hospital
London
NW1 2BU
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington
London
W2 1NY
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Barts and The London Hospital
London
E1 2AD
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University College London Hospital (UCLH)
London
NW1 2BU
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

St. Thomas' Hospital
London
SE1 7EH
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Hammersmith / Queen Charlotte's Hospital
London
W12 0HS
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
London
SW10 9NH
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

University of Birmingham

Sponsor details

Director of Finance's Office
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom
Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

University/education

Website

Funders

Funder type

Government

Funder name

NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme - HTA (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype

Location

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

A meeting will be held after the end of the study to allow discussion of the main results among the collaborators prior to publication. The success of the study depends entirely on the wholehearted collaboration of a large number of doctors, nurses and others. For this reason, chief credit for the main results will be given not to the committees or central organisers but to all those who have collaborated in the study. Centres will be permitted to publish data obtained from participants in the C-STICH trial that use trial outcome measures but do not relate to the trial randomised evaluation and hypothesis.

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Stored in repository

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

11/04/2016: Ethics approval information added