Vol 83, No 10 (2012)

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Assessment of efficacy and safety of medical treatment of non-viable first trimester pregnancy

Ewa Barcz, Wojciech Dziadecki, Agnieszka Banaszek-Wysoczańska, Michał Głuszak, Zoulikha Jabiry-Zieniewicz, Aneta Zwierzchowska
Ginekol Pol 2012;83(10).


Objectives: The aim of our study was to assess the efficacy and safety of medical treatment of non-viable first trimester pregnancy. Material and methods: We analyzed 50 cases of women diagnosed with non-viable first trimester pregnancy: missed abortion (79.6%) or anembryonic pregnancy (20.4%), who were admitted and treated at the First Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Warsaw, between June 2011 and February 2012. The diagnosis was made after two ultrasound examinations, performed at least one week apart. None of the patients manifested symptoms of imminent miscarriage. All women received medical treatment - misoprostol administered vaginally or, in cases of excessive bleeding in the course of the procedure, sublingually - according to our own scheme. The patients were informed that any moment they could decide to discontinue medical treatment and ask for surgery. Initially, 4 tablets containing misoprostol (800 mcg) were administered vaginally. A control ultrasound examination was performed 6 hours later. If expulsion of the gestational sac was completed, the patient was discharged. If the gestational sac was still present in the uterus, an additional dose of misoprostol was administered: 4 tablets vaginally or, if excessive bleeding occurred, 3 tablets (600 mcg) sublingually. Another ultrasound examination was performed after 6 hours from the second dose and the patient was discharged if the expulsion of the gestational sac was completed. If the procedure failed, it was repeated in the same manner the next day. D&C was performed in cases of excessive bleeding, failure of medical treatment after 48 hours, patient decision to discontinue medical treatment or suspected incomplete abortion after menstrual bleeding. For women who completed the medical treatment, control visits were scheduled 14 days after hospital discharge and after menstrual bleeding, if incomplete abortion was suspected. Results: D&C was performed in 12% of patients because of failure of medical treatment after 48 hours, excessive bleeding or incomplete abortion after menstrual bleeding. Additional 6% of women decided to discontinue medical treatment and demanded D&C before completing 48 hours of treatment. The mean dose of misoprostol administered until the expulsion of the gestational sac was 1.404 g (7.02 tablets). In 60% of cases the expulsion was completed before 12 hours from the beginning of the procedure. In multiparae, the time until expulsion did not exceed 6 hours more frequently than in nulliparae (50 vs. 24.14%, p<0.05). The duration of the procedure did not exceed 24 hours in any of the multiparae. Among women who did not undergo D&C, 46.2% were diagnosed with complete abortion during the control visit, 14 days after the hospital discharge, and 53.8%- after menstrual bleeding. No serious side effects of misoprostol, influencing its safety, were observed. Conclusions: Medical treatment is a highly effective and safe method of management of non-viable first trimester pregnancy. Because of the currently existing variety of protocols, it is recommended to implement standard schemes of misoprostol administration and control visits. It seems that there is no need for hospitalization during the procedure. Outpatient care may contribute to further reduction of the D&C rate. Limited surgery rate, apart from decreasing the risk of iatrogenic damage of the uterus, additionally leads to lower treatment costs as it eliminates the necessity of hospitalization and anesthesia.

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