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Lancet. 1982 May 1;1(8279):991-4.

Neonatal jaundice after labour induced or stimulated by prostaglandin E2 or oxytocin.


In a prospective study of neonatal jaundice 739 infants, delivered vaginally, in the vertex presentation, and without major complications, were examined. Labour was induced or stimulated after random allocation of the mothers to one of three oxytocics (prostaglandin E2 orally, oxytocin intravenously, or demoxytocin buccally). Oxytocics were unnecessary after primary amniotomy in 91 women. A linear logistic statistical analysis showed that gestational age has a highly significant influence on the risk of jaundice (defined by maximum serum level of bilirubin greater than or equal to 205 mumol/l). An apparent influence of birthweight could be explained by the correlation between birthweight and gestational age. The influence of the three oxytocic agents was not significant, although they may have had a slight effect; however, any such effect could be a consequence of the infants of mothers given oxytocics being less mature than those whom mothers did not receive oxytocics. The duration of labour and the mother's age also had no effect on risk of jaundice. Thus, neonatal jaundice after induced and stimulated labour seems to be primarily associated with fetal maturity; the pharmacological side-effect, if any, of oxytocics is of no importance.

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