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Obstet Gynecol. 1998 May;91(5 Pt 1):771-3.

Maternal serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels and successful labor induction.

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University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tucson 85724, USA.



To evaluate the maternal serum dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) sulfate level as a factor associated with the outcome of labor induction.


Venous blood was collected from 161 women at the initiation of labor induction. Pregnancies complicated by maternal corticosteroid use, antepartum chorioamnionitis, or cesarean delivery for indications other than arrest disorders were excluded from analysis. In 155 women meeting inclusion criteria, induction followed established protocols. Serum DHEA sulfate levels were measured by radioimmunoassay and correlated with the outcome of each induction attempt. A success was defined as progression to active labor. The Welch approximate t test, Mann-Whitney test, Fisher exact test, simple regression, and multiple regression were used for statistical analysis, with P < .05 considered significant.


The mean (+/- standard error) DHEA sulfate level was higher in women who progressed to active labor (n = 147) than in those with unsuccessful attempts (n = 8), (109.01 +/- 5.19 microg/dL versus 58.78 +/- 15.83 microg/dL, respectively; P = .02). Compared with women with DHEA sulfate levels above 70 microg/dL, women with lower levels had an unsuccessful induction odds ratio (OR) of 4.46 (95% confidence interval, 1.12, 17.67; P = .04). The OR increased as DHEA sulfate levels decreased.


Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate may be an important factor in successful labor induction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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