Aetiology, risk factors and preventive strategies for niche development: A review

C. Verberkt, M. Lemmers, R. de Vries, S. I. Stegwee, R. A. de Leeuw, J. A.F. Huirne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


The increase in caesarean sections (CS) has resulted in an increase in women with a uterine niche. The exact aetiology of niche development has yet to be elucidated but is likely multifactorial. This study aimed to give a systematic overview of the available literature on histopathological features, risk factors and results of preventive strategies on niche development to gain more insight into the underlying mechanisms. Based on current published data histopathological findings associated with niche development were necrosis, fibrosis, inflammation, adenomyosis and insufficient approximation. Patient-related risk factors included multiple CS, BMI and smoking. Labour-related factors were CS before onset of labour, extended cervical dilatation, premature rupture of membranes and presenting part of the fetus at CS below the pelvic inlet. Preventive strategies should focus on the optimal level of incision, training of surgeons and full-thickness closure of the myometrium (single or double-layer) using non-locking sutures. Conflicting data exist concerning the effect of endometrial inclusion. Future studies without heterogeneity in population, using standardized performance of the CS after proper training and using standardized niche evaluation with a relevant core outcome set are required to allow meta-analyses and to develop evidence-based preventive strategies. These studies are needed to reduce the prevalence of niches and prevent complications in subsequent pregnancies such as caesarean scar pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102363
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

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© 2023


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