Objective: To evaluate the long-term outcomes of children born to women with a short cervix and otherwise low risk for preterm birth, after antenatal exposure to vaginal progesterone vs placebo. Methods: This was a follow-up study of the Triple P trial, which randomized 80 low-risk women with a short cervix (≤ 30 mm) at 18–22 weeks' gestation to progesterone (n = 41) or placebo (n = 39). At 2 years of corrected age, children were invited for a neurodevelopmental assessment, using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, third edition (BSID-III), and a neurological and physical examination by an assessor blinded to the allocated treatment. Parents filled out the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and a general-health questionnaire. The main outcome of interest was mean BSID-III cognitive and motor scores. Additionally, a composite score of mortality and abnormal developmental outcome, including BSID-III ≤–1 SD, CBCL score in the clinical range and/or parental reported physical problems (at least two operations or at least two hospital admissions in the previous 2 years), was evaluated. Our sample size, dictated by the original sample of the Triple P trial, provided 80% power to detect a mean difference (MD) of 15 points (1 SD) between groups for the BSID-III tests. Results: Of the 80 children born to the randomized women, one in the progesterone group and two in the placebo group died in the neonatal period. Follow-up data were obtained for 59/77 (77%) children and BSID-III outcomes in 57 children (n = 28 in the progesterone group and n = 29 in the placebo group) born at a median gestational age of 38 + 6 weeks (interquartile range (IQR), 37 + 3 to 40 + 1 weeks) with a median birth weight of 3240 g (IQR, 2785–3620 g). In the progesterone vs placebo groups, mean BSID-III cognitive development scores were 101.6 vs 105.0 (MD, –3.4 (95% CI, –9.3 to 2.6); P = 0.29) while mean motor scores were 102.4 vs 107.3 (MD, –4.9 (95% CI, –11.2 to 1.4); P = 0.13). No differences were seen between the two groups in physical (including genital and neurological examination), behavioral and health-related outcomes. Conclusion: In this sample of children born to low-risk women with a short cervix at screening, no relevant differences in neurodevelopmental, behavioral, health-related and physical outcomes were found between offspring exposed to vaginal progesterone and those exposed to placebo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • child
  • development
  • preterm birth
  • progesterone

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