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Afr J Med Med Sci. 2004 Jun;33(2):105-8.

Experience with intravaginal misoprostol in the management of intra-uterine fetal death.

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Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta.


This collaborative study between the departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the University College Hospital, Ibadan and Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta assessed the value of intravaginal misoprostol in the management of intra-uterine fetal death. Fifty-six women at gestational ages between 17 weeks and term admitted for intra-uterine death with no contraindications to misoprostol received 400mcg of misoprostol administered intravaginally 12-hourly, until the establishment of effective uterine contractions. The mean gestational age was 27.9 weeks+/-7.1(SD) and the mean Bishop score was 2.7+/-2.4(SD). The mean duration of onset of contractions was 5.0 hours+/-8.4 (SD); the mean induction-delivery interval was 17.5 hours+/-6.3(SD). Ninety three percent of the women had expelled within 48 hours. Successful induction was achieved in all women. Prophylactic vacuum aspiration was performed (lower gestation only) in 19.6% of cases. Fever, nausea and vomiting were the commonest side effects (7.1%). Neither gestational age nor the cervical score significantly affected the insertion-contraction or induction-delivery intervals. Intra-vaginal Misoprostol at the dosage administered is safe, effective and reduces staff workload.

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