Shortening of the cervical canal

Radswiki et al.

Shortening of the uterine cervical canal as the name implies refers to an abnormal shortening of the uterine cervical length. It is considered a sign of cervical incompetence in pregnancy and can lead to premature delivery.


  • primary (i.e. congenital/idiopathic)
  • secondary
    • multiple gestations
    • obstetric/gynaecological trauma
    • increas in prostaglandins 4

Radiographic features

In a single pregnancy the cervical length is usually considered to be ~4 cm up until 37 weeks, while in multifetal pregnancy it can often be <3 cm by 32 weeks 1

An endocervical canal length of <3 cm or <2.5 cm (depends on institution) is considered diagnostic of shortening 4,5.

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Article information

rID: 15284
Section: Signs
Tags: stub, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Short cervical length
  • Shortened uterine cervix
  • Uterine cervical shortening
  • Cervical shortening
  • Short cervix
  • Short uterine cervix
  • Short uterine cervical length

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Cases and figures

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