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Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Apr;99(4):563-6.

Medical management of missed abortion: a randomized clinical trial.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Erratum in

  • Obstet Gynecol 2002 Jul;100(1):175. Dosage error in published abstract; MEDLINE/PubMed abstract corrected.



To estimate the efficacy of vaginal misoprostol for medical management of missed abortion.


Fifty women with missed abortion were randomized to treatment with up to two 800 microg [DOSAGE ERROR CORRECTED] doses of misoprostol vaginally or a placebo. Participants were reviewed daily for 2 days, then again at 1 week. A blood sample for hemoglobin and serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (beta hCG) was obtained on day 1 and the hemoglobin level checked again on day 7. Complete abortion was defined as expulsion of the products of conception without dilation and curettage (D&C) and a negative follow-up urine beta hCG test after 4 weeks, or as no products of conception obtained at D&C in cases of suspected incomplete abortion.


The rate of complete abortion was 80% (20 of 25) in the misoprostol group and 16% (four of 25) in the placebo group, relative risk 0.20 (0.08, 0.50), P <.001. The rate of D&C was 28% (seven of 25) in the misoprostol group and 84% (21 of 25) in the placebo group, relative risk 0.33 (0.17, 0.64), P <.001. One participant in the misoprostol group had an emergency D&C for heavy bleeding. No participants required blood transfusion. The mean reduction in hemoglobin from day 1 to day 7 was 3.2 g/L in the misoprostol group versus 4.3 g/L in the placebo group, P = .72. Patient satisfaction with misoprostol treatment was high with 19 of 21 participants reporting they would try medical management again if they experienced another missed abortion.


Medical management of missed abortion is effective, reduces the need for D&C, and is associated with high levels of patient satisfaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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