Predicting preterm birth: Cervical length and fetal fibronectin

Moeun Son*, Emily S. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Spontaneous preterm birth remains the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide, and accounts for a significant global health burden. Several obstetric strategies to screen for spontaneous preterm delivery, such as cervical length and fetal fibronectin measurement, have emerged. However, the effectiveness of these strategies relies on their ability to accurately predict those pregnancies at increased risk for spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB). Transvaginal cervical shortening is predictive of preterm birth and when coupled with appropriate preterm birth prevention strategies, has been associated with reductions in SPTB in asymptomatic women with a singleton gestation. The use of qualitative fetal fibronectin may be useful in conjunction with cervical length assessment in women with acute preterm labor symptoms, but data supporting its clinical utility remain limited. As both cervical length and qualitative fetal fibronectin have limited capacity to predict preterm birth, further studies are needed to investigate other potential screening modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-451
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Perinatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Cervical length
  • Fetal fibronectin
  • Spontaneous preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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