Dynamic collagen changes in cervix during the first trimester and decreased collagen content in cervical insufficiency

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2016 Sep;29(18):2968-72. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2015.1109623. Epub 2015 Nov 23.


Objective: To determine the changes in cervical collagen during the first trimester of pregnancy and to evaluate the collagen deficit in cases with a previous diagnosis of cervical insufficiency (CI).

Materials and methods: Cervical punch biopsies were obtained from 66 patients divided into three groups: patients with recurrent abortions due to CI (CI group; n = 8); first-trimester abortion group (study group; n = 37), subdivided into three groups according their gestational week (<7, 7-9 and 9-12 weeks), and patients with cervical biopsy due to gynecologic reasons (control group; n = 12). Collagen quantity was determined by a biochemical method that measured the levels of hydroxyproline (HOP) in dry cervix tissue.

Results: The HOP concentrations were significantly higher at lower gestational ages (p = 0.001). Collagen quantity was lowest in the CI group compared with other groups (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: This study shows collagen component of cervix decreases as pregnancy advances through the first trimester. Cervical collagen concentration is lower in women with a history of CI compared to controls who has not a history of CI.

Keywords: Cervical insufficiency; collagen; hydroxyproline; uterine cervical incompetence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cervix Uteri / chemistry*
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology
  • Collagen / analysis*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyproline / analysis*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Uterine Cervical Incompetence / metabolism*


  • Collagen
  • Hydroxyproline