Induction of labor in patients with missed abortion and fetal death in utero with protaglandin E2 suppositories.
Labor was successfully induced in 20 patients with a diagnosis of missed abortion or intrauterine fetal death (IUFD) by intravaginal administration of prostaglandin E2 suppositories. Fifteen patients delivered with the prostaglandin alone while a concomitant oxytocin infusion was employed to augment contractions in the other five patients. The mean induction-delivery time was 9.80 hours; nulliparous patients delivered in a mean time if 7.78 hours, parous patients in a mean time of 12.29 hours. The uterus appeared to be sensitive to the PGE2 stimulation in all patients and all were delivered completely without the need for surgical intervention. Fifty per cent of patients were delivered within 8 hours and 80 per cent by 12 hours. The side effects associated with prostaglandin administration--vomiting, diarrhea, and temperature elevation--were well tolerated and therapy did not have to be terminated in any patient. The administration of PGE2 vaginal suppositories offers an effective and safe technique for the induction of labor in patients with IUFD. Labor can be induced with PGE2 suppositories as soon as the diagnosis of IUFD is confirmed, which eliminates the need for waiting until spontaneous labor occurs.
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