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Fetal Diagn Ther. 1999 May-Jun;14(3):138-42.

Induction of labor in patients with term premature rupture of membranes. Effect on perinatal outcome.

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Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA.



To determine whether delayed induction of labor in patients with premature rupture of membranes (PROM) at term has beneficial effects on the mother or the infant.


Retrospective analysis of our database revealed 576 patients >37 weeks of gestation with PROM, who delivered live-born infants without major congenital anomalies. We analyzed the frequencies of primary cesarean, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions, and oxytocin use by time since hospital admission and interval until onset of labor.


NICU admission increased from 1.9% in <3 h between admission to onset of labor to 13.3% after >18 h. Admission-onset of labor interval, birth weight of <2,500 or >4,000 g and meconium were all more important determinants of NICU admission than gestational age, duration of labor, PROM, and ROM. Prolonged admission-onset of labor interval was associated with an increased risk of variable decelerations (p < 0.001). Primary cesarean rates increased progressively with longer intervals between admission and onset of labor. Stepwise discriminant function analysis revealed that labor duration, admission-onset of labor interval, gestational age, and birth weight of <2,500 g were all more important determinants of primary cesarean delivery than the durations of PROM or ROM.


The increased frequencies of NICU admission, variable decelerations, and primary cesarean suggest that delayed labor induction after hospital admission was linked to worsened perinatal outcomes. These results may have been influenced by usually performing a single digital examination as part of initial evaluation of term patients who present with PROM. Based on our data, we suggest immediate induction for PROM at term, especially if digital examination has been performed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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