Single stranded suture threads could prevent pregnancy infection complications

Oct. 24, 2022
C-STICH trial findings.

Women at risk of pregnancy loss who need a specialist surgical procedure could benefit from a single-stranded suture thread to reduce risk of infection, results from the C-STICH clinical trial found.  

The trial was the largest of its type and is published in The Lancet. It involved more than 2000 expectant mothers who needed a procedure called a cerclage, where a purse string suture is placed around the neck of the womb (the cervix) during their pregnancy. Women were randomly allocated to have the surgical procedure performed using either a single stranded thread or a braided thread. 

Researchers tested whether there would be any difference in miscarriage or stillbirth, due to an increased risk of infection, from using a braided suture thread. The research, which is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research, the research partner of the NHS, public health and social care, demonstrates that single stranded sutures could potentially improve outcomes for mothers at risk of preterm birth.  

The team led by researchers from the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital found that the mothers treated with single stranded threads had no differences in pregnancy loss or preterm birth but reported fewer instances of infection and sepsis. This could have important implications for the health outcomes of mothers and babies who are treated with a cervical cerclage in their pregnancy. 

University of Birmingham release on Newswise