Objective: A recent randomized clinical trial (ProTWIN) showed that a cervical pessary prevented preterm birth and improved neonatal outcome in women with multiple pregnancy and cervical length (CL) < 38 mm. In this follow-up study, the long-term developmental outcome of these children was evaluated at 3 years' corrected age. Methods: This was a follow-up study of ProTWIN, a multicenter trial conducted between 2009 and 2012 in which asymptomatic women with a multiple pregnancy were randomized to placement of a cervical pessary or no intervention. Current follow-up and analysis were limited to mothers with a mid-trimester CL < 38 mm (78 women (157 children) in the pessary group and 55 women (111 children) in the control group). At 3 years of corrected age, surviving children were invited for a Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-third edition (Bayley-III) assessment. Death after randomization or neurodevelopmental disability (Bayley-III score of ≤ 85, 1 SD below mean) rates were compared between the pessary and control groups, according to the intention-to-treat principle and using multiple imputation for missing data. Mean Bayley-III scores in surviving children were also assessed. A linear mixed-effects model was used to adjust for correlation between children of one mother. Results: From the time of entry in the ProTWIN trial until follow-up at 3 years of age, a total of 27 children had died (six (5%) in the pessary vs 21 (26%) in the control group; odds ratio (OR), 0.13; 95% CI, 0.04–0.48). Bayley-III outcomes were collected for 173/241 (72%) surviving children (114 (75%) in the pessary vs 59 (66%) in the control group). The cumulative incidence of death or survival with a neurodevelopmental disability was 12 (10%) in the pessary vs 23 (29%) in the control group (OR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.09–0.73). No statistical or clinically relevant differences were found with respect to cognitive, language and motor development among surviving children between the groups. Comparable results were found after multiple imputation. Conclusion: In women with twin pregnancy and a CL < 38 mm, the use of a cervical pessary strongly improved survival of the children without affecting neurodevelopment at 3 years' corrected age.
- preterm birth