Labour induction at term—a randomised trial comparing Foley catheter plus titrated oral misoprostol solution, titrated oral misoprostol solution alone, and dinoprostone

Baron B Matonhodze, G Justus Hofmeyr, Jonathan Levin
South African Medical Journal 2003, 93 (5): 375-9

OBJECTIVES: To compare three methods of labour induction.

DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial.

SETTING: Academic hospitals in Johannesburg, South Africa.

SUBJECTS: Women with intact membranes due for induction of labour.

METHOD: Randomised, sealed opaque envelopes were used to allocate women to labour induction with extra-amniotic Foley catheter/titrated oral misoprostol solution (N = 174), titrated oral misoprostol solution alone (N = 176), or vaginal dinoprostone (N = 176). Misoprostol was dissolved in water and 20-40 g was given 2-hourly.

OUTCOME MEASURES: These were failure to deliver vaginally within 24 hours, additional measures for induction or augmentation of labour, analgesia, and maternal and fetal complications.

RESULTS: In the Foley catheter group, misoprostol was required in all but 1 case. Failure to deliver vaginally within 24 hours was similar for the three groups (79/174 v. 70/176 v. 70/176 respectively). Labour augmentation, caesarean section and instrumental delivery were used somewhat more frequently in the Foley/misoprostol group than in the misoprostol alone group, but these differences were not statistically significant. More analgesia was used in the Foley catheter/misoprostol group than in the misoprostol group (64/172 v. 46/175). Side-effects and neonatal complications were similar for the three groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Use of extra-amniotic Foley catheter placement showed no measurable benefits over the use of oral misoprostol alone, or vaginal dinoprostone.

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