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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2003 Jun;17(3):261-7.

Oxytocin and fetal membranes in preterm labor: current concepts and clinical implication.

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Department of Pathophysiology of Pregnancy, Medical University of Bialystok, M.C. Sklodowskiej 24a, 15-276 Bialystok, Poland.


Preterm birth is associated with up to 90% of perinatal deaths. In spite of numerous clinical and preclinical research programs, its incidence has not changed throughout the past decade. An observation that the oxytocin antagonist atosiban delays preterm labor and is significantly more potent than vasopressin(1a) receptors gave rise to research on the role of vasopressin blockade in tocolysis and vasopressin itself in preterm labor. Successful tocolysis allows the introduction of intrauterine steroid treatment of the fetus, which reduces the chance of developing infant respiratory distress syndrome and intracranial hemorrhage. Fetal membranes, decidua and placenta are considered a possible site of initiation of parturition, both term and preterm. Research on the biology of these tissues may shed new light on current concepts of the pathophysiology of preterm labor. We here present a short review on the role of oxytocin, oxytocin receptor blockade and fetal membranes in preterm labor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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