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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Aug;187(2):393-7.

A comparison of medical induction and dilation and evacuation for second-trimester abortion.

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Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.



The purpose of this study was to compare complication rates of patients who undergo dilation and evacuation or medical abortion between 14 and 24 weeks of gestation.


We present a retrospective cohort study of 297 women who underwent either dilation and evacuation or medical abortion. Statistical methods included the Student t test, the chi(2) test, the Fisher exact test (where appropriate), and logistic regression.


The overall complication rate was significantly lower in patients who underwent dilation and evacuation than in patients who underwent medical abortion (4% vs 29%; P <.001). Medical abortions with misoprostol resulted in a lower complication rate than abortions with other medications (odds ratio, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.1-0.4). More Laminaria was associated with a decreased risk of complications with surgical abortions (odds ratio, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.7-1.0).


Dilation evacuation is the safest method of second-trimester abortion. Misoprostol is safer than other methods for medical abortion. Maximal use of Laminaria will decrease complication rates in surgical abortion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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