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BJOG. 2006 Jan;113(1):65-74.

A randomised controlled trial of metronidazole for the prevention of preterm birth in women positive for cervicovaginal fetal fibronectin: the PREMET Study.

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  • 1Maternal and Fetal Research Unit, Division of Reproductive Health, Endocrinology and Development, St Thomas' Hospital, King's College London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether metronidazole reduces early preterm labour in asymptomatic women with positive vaginal fetal fibronectin (fFN) in the second trimester of pregnancy.

DESIGN:

Randomised placebo-controlled trial.

SETTING:

Fourteen UK hospitals (three teaching).

POPULATION:

Pregnancies with at least one previous risk factor, including mid-trimester loss or preterm delivery, uterine abnormality, cervical surgery or cerclage.

METHODS:

Nine hundred pregnancies were screened for fFN at 24 and 27 weeks of gestation. Positive cases were randomised to a week's course of oral metronidazole or placebo.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Primary outcome was delivery before 30 weeks of gestation. Secondary outcomes included delivery before 37 weeks.

RESULTS:

The Trial Steering Committee (TSC) recommended the study be stopped early; 21% of women receiving metronidazole (11/53) delivered before 30 weeks compared with 11% (5/46) taking placebo [risk ratio 1.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72-5.09, P = 0.18]. There were significantly more preterm deliveries (before 37 weeks) in women treated with metronidazole 33/53 (62%) versus placebo 18/46 (39%), risk ratio 1.6, 95% CI 1.05-2.4. fFN was a good predictor of early preterm birth in these asymptomatic women; positive and negative predictive values (24 weeks of gestation) for delivery by 30 weeks were 26% and 99%, respectively (positive and negative likelihood ratios 15, 0.35).

CONCLUSION:

Metronidazole does not reduce early preterm birth in high risk pregnant women selected by history and a positive vaginal fFN test. Preterm delivery may be increased by metronidazole therapy.

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PMID:
16398774
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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