Fletcher, Horace M.; Mitchell, Sharmaine Y.; Simeon, Donald T.; Frederick, Joseph; Brown, D.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Child Health
Intravaginal misoprostol as a cervical ripening agent.
British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Date of Publication
A double-blind clinical trial was set up to determine if misoprostol (exogenous prostaglandin E1 PGE1) used vaginally was of value in improving the Bishop score, leading to an early safe vaginal delivery in women in whom the cervix is unripe and delivery is indicated. In antenatal and labour wards of the University Hospital of the West Indies, Jamaica, 45 women in the third trimester, with various obstetric indications for induction of labour and with no contra-indications to prostaglandin, were randomly assigned to receive treatment or a placebo. The treated group had 100 micrograms misoprostol inserted vaginally while the placebo was similarly inserted. Efficacy of the misoprostol was measured by the increase in the Bishop score 12 h after giving the treatment, the time between insertion and delivery, the need for oxytocin, and the outcome of the pregnancy. The prostaglandin was superior to the placebo in ripening the cervix and inducing labour. The change in Bishop score was 5.3 in the misoprostol group compared with 1.5 in the placebo group (p<0.001). The mean time from insertion to delivery was 15.6 h in the former and 43.2 h in the placebo group (p< or =0.001) The need for oxytocin was also significantly less in women receiving prostaglandin compared with the placebo (29% vs 62%, p< 0.02) There was no difference between the two groups in complications of delivery, Apgar scores, or mode of delivery. Intravaginal misoprostol, therefore, can be used to induce labour in the third trimester effectively and cheaply.....