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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1996 Nov;69(2):97-102.

Second trimester pregnancy termination including fetal death: comparison of five different methods.

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Doctor Zekai Tahir Burak Women's Hospital, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ankara, Turkey.



To compare the efficacy of methods for second trimester pregnancy termination.


A prospective randomized study of women undergoing pregnancy termination between 14 and 28 weeks gestation. Three hundred and forty patients with poor cervical condition (Bishop score < or = 4) in whom one of five termination methods were used were assessed: (i) extraamniotic administration of ethacridine lactate (82 patients); (ii) intracervical prostaglandin (PG) E2 gel (100 patients); (iii) intravenous infusion of concentrated oxytocin (36 patients); (iv) vaginal misoprostol (49 patients); and (v) balloon insertion (73 patients). Oxytocin infusion was used in all but concentrated oxytocin group to augment labor, when necessary. Patients in whom effective uterine contractions and cervical dilatation was not obtained within 48 h with the primary termination method were registered as failures.


The efficacy of each method were evaluated in terms of abortion within time. Abortion within 48 h were achieved in 98.8% (81/82) of the patients in ethacridine group; 97.3% (35/36) of the patients in concentrated oxytocin group; 90.0% (90/100) of the patients in PGE2 group; 97.2% (71/73) of the patients in balloon group; 77.5% (38/49) of the patients in misoprostol group (P = 0.000, P < 0.01, Wilcoxon (Gehan) statistic). The overall median induction-abortion interval +/- S.D. (in h) in each group were as follows: ethacridine lactate: 15.7 +/- 9.6, PGE2 gel: 20.0 +/- 14.5, concentrated oxytocin: 12.2 +/- 14.4, misoprostol: 24.0 +/- 22.2, balloon: 16.0 +/- 15.4 (one way ANOVA, P = 0.003, P < 0.01).


In comparison with the five methods, the use of extraamniotic ethacridine, intravenous concentrated oxytocin, and balloon was found to provide more effective treatment than intracervical PGE2 and misoprostol in terms of achievement of abortion within 24 and 48 h.


The efficacy of 5 methods of second-trimester pregnancy termination was compared in a prospective, randomized study of 340 women admitted to a High Risk Pregnancy Unit in Ankara, Turkey, with an unfavorable cervical state. The women were between 14 and 28 weeks' gestation. Termination methods assessed included: extra-amniotic administration of ethacridine lactate (82 women), cervical ripening through use of prostaglandin (PG) E2 gel (100 women), intravenous infusion of concentrated oxytocin (36 women), intravaginal misoprostol (49 women), and balloon insertion (73 women). Oxytocin infusion was used to augment labor, where necessary, in all but the concentrated oxytocin group. The main indications for pregnancy termination were fetal death (50%) and fetal anomaly (25%). Abortion within 48 hours was achieved in 98.8% of women in the ethacridine group, 97.3% of those in the concentrated oxytocin group, 90.0% of women in the PGE2 group, 97.2% of patients in the balloon group, and 77.5% of those in the misoprostol group. The median induction-abortion intervals were: ethacridine lactate, 15.7 +or- 9.6 hours; PGE2 gel, 20.0 +or- 14.5 hours; concentrated oxytocin, 12.2 +or- 14.4 hours; misoprostol, 24.0 +or- 22.2 hours; and balloon, 16.0 +or- 15.4 hours. Overall, these results suggest that mid-trimester induced abortion with extraamniotic ethacridine, balloon application, or intravenous concentrated oxytocin are the most effective techniques and should be considered as alternatives to misoprostol and PGE2.

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