METHODS: Women at term with one transverse lower segment cesarean delivery who were suitable for and who planned VBAC were approached to participate. Participants were randomly assigned to weekly membrane sweeping or weekly vaginal assessment for Bishop score until delivery. Participants and delivery providers were blinded to the allocated treatment. Standard obstetric care was given to all participants. The primary outcome was onset of labor which was defined as the presence of spontaneous regular and painful contractions that cause cervical dilation to at least 3 cm or prelabor rupture of membranes. Secondary outcomes included induction of labor and repeat cesarean delivery.
RESULTS: One hundred eight women were randomly assigned to membrane sweeping and 105 to control. The spontaneous labor rate was 78.5% compared with 72.1% (relative risk [RR] 1.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9-1.3; P=.34), the induction of labor rate was 12.1% compared with 9.6% (RR 1.3, 95% CI 0.6-2.8; P=.66), and the all-cause cesarean delivery rate was 40.2% compared with 44.2% (RR 0.9, 95% CI 0.7-1.2; P=.58) for the membrane sweeping and control groups, respectively. Gestational age at delivery (mean+/-standard deviation) of 39.6+/-1.0 weeks for the membrane sweeping group compared with 39.6+/-0.9 weeks for the control group (P=.84) was no different.
CONCLUSION: Serial membrane sweeping at term in women who planned VBAC has no significant effect on the onset of labor, pregnancy duration, induction of labor, or repeat cesarean delivery.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN, isrctn.org, ISRCTN55163179.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: I.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate regular (4-hourly prior to each oral misoprostol dose with amniotomy when feasible) compared with restricted (only if indicated) vaginal assessments during labor induction with oral misoprostol in term nulliparous women MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a randomized trial between November 2016 and September 2017 in a university hospital in Malaysia. Our oral misoprostol labor induction regimen comprised 50 μg of misoprostol administered 4 hourly for up to 3 doses in the first 24 hours. Participants assigned to regular assessment had vaginal examinations before each 4-hourly misoprostol dose with a view to amniotomy as soon as it was feasible. Participants in the restricted arm had vaginal examinations only if indicated. Primary outcomes were patient satisfaction with the birth process (using an 11-point visual numerical rating scale), induction to vaginal delivery interval, and vaginal delivery rate at 24 hours.
RESULTS: Data from 204 participants (101 regular, 103 restricted) were analyzed. The patient satisfaction score with the birth process was as follows (median [interquartile range]): 7 [6-9] vs 8 [6-10], P = .15. The interval of induction to vaginal delivery (mean ± standard deviation) was 24.3 ± 12.8 vs 31.1 ± 15.0 hours (P = .013). The vaginal delivery rate at 24 hours was 27.7% vs 20.4%; (relative risk [RR], 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.8-2.3; P = .14) for the regular vs restricted arms, respectively. The cesarean delivery rate was 50% vs 43% (RR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.9-1.5; P = .36). When assessed after delivery, participants' fidelity to their assigned vaginal examination schedule in a future labor induction was 45% vs 88% (RR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4-0.7; P < .001), and they would recommend their assigned schedule to a friend (47% vs 87%; RR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5-0.7; P < .001) in the regular compared with the restricted arms, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Despite a shorter induction to vaginal delivery interval with regular vaginal examination and a similar vaginal delivery rate at 24 hours and birth process satisfaction score, women expressed a higher preference for the restricted examination schedule and were more likely to recommend such a schedule to a friend.
METHODS: We did an individual participant data meta-analysis comparing balloon catheters and vaginal prostaglandins for cervical ripening before labour induction. We systematically identified published and unpublished randomised controlled trials that completed data collection between March 19, 2019, and May 1, 2021, by searching the Cochrane Library, ClinicalTrials.gov, WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, and PubMed. Further trials done before March 19, 2019, were identified through a recent Cochrane review. Data relating to the combined use of the two methods were not included, only data from women with a viable, singleton pregnancy were analysed, and no exclusion was made based on parity or membrane status. We contacted authors of individuals trials and participant-level data were harmonised and recoded according to predefined definitions of variables. Risk of bias was assessed with the ROB2 tool. The primary outcomes were caesarean delivery, indication for caesarean delivery, a composite adverse perinatal outcome, and a composite adverse maternal outcome. We followed the intention-to-treat principle for the main analysis. The primary meta-analysis used two-stage random-effects models and the sensitivity analysis used one-stage mixed models. All models were adjusted for maternal age and parity. This meta-analysis is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020179924).
FINDINGS: Individual participant data were available from 12 studies with a total of 5460 participants. Balloon catheters, compared with vaginal prostaglandins, did not lead to a significantly different rate of caesarean delivery (12 trials, 5414 women; crude incidence 27·0%; adjusted OR [aOR] 1·09, 95% CI 0·95-1·24; I2=0%), caesarean delivery for failure to progress (11 trials, 4601 women; aOR 1·20, 95% CI 0·91-1·58; I2=39%), or caesarean delivery for fetal distress (10 trials, 4441 women; aOR 0·86, 95% CI 0·71-1·04; I2=0%). The composite adverse perinatal outcome was lower in women who were allocated to balloon catheters than in those allocated to vaginal prostaglandins (ten trials, 4452 neonates, crude incidence 13·6%; aOR 0·80, 95% CI 0·70-0·92; I2=0%). There was no significant difference in the composite adverse maternal outcome (ten trials, 4326 women, crude incidence 22·7%; aOR 1·02, 95% CI 0·89-1·18; I2=0%).
INTERPRETATION: In induction of labour, balloon catheters and vaginal prostaglandins have comparable caesarean delivery rates and maternal safety profiles, but balloon catheters lead to fewer adverse perinatal events.
FUNDING: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and Monash Health Emerging Researcher Fellowship.
METHODS: This randomized trial was conducted in Malaysia in 232 term multiparous women with balloon catheter-ripened cervixes (dilatation ≥3 cm), singleton fetus, cephalic presentation with intact membranes, and reassuring fetal heart rate tracing. They were randomized to immediate titrated intravenous oxytocin infusion and early amniotomy (116) or delayed amniotomy after 4 h of oxytocin (116). Primary outcome was intervention (oxytocin initiation)-to-delivery interval.
RESULTS: Oxytocin-to-delivery intervals were a median of 4.99 h (interquartile range [IQR], 3.21-7.82 h) versus 6.23 h (IQR, 4.50-8.45 h) (P labor but lowers maternal satisfaction. The cesarean delivery rate is not significantly reduced.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study was registered with the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) on September 29, 2020, with trial identification number: ISRCTN87066007 (https://doi.org/10.1186/ISRCTN87066007). The first participant was recruited on September 29, 2020, after ISRCTN registry confirmation was received.
METHODS: A randomized trial was conducted from September 2020 to March 2021. A total of 140 term nulliparas (70 early amniotomy, 70 delayed amniotomy) with Foley catheter-ripened cervices (dilatation ≥3 cm achieved), singleton fetus, cephalic presentation with intact membranes, and reassuring fetal heart rate tracing were recruited. Women were randomized to immediate titrated intravenous oxytocin infusion and early amniotomy or delayed amniotomy (after 4 h of oxytocin). The primary outcome was intervention (oxytocin)-to-delivery interval (h).
RESULTS: Intervention-to-delivery intervals (h) were mean ± standard deviation 9.0 ± 3.6 versus 10.6 ± 3.5 h (mean difference of 1.4 h) (P = 0.004) for the early versus delayed amniotomy arms, respectively. Birth rates at 6 h after oxytocin infusion were 19 of 70 (27.1%) versus 8 of 70 (11.4%) (relative risk, 2.38 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.11-5.06]; number needed to treat: 7 [95% CI, 3.5-34.4]) (P = 0.03), cesarean delivery rates were 29 of 70 (41.4%) versus 33 of 70 (47.1%) (relative risk, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.61-1.28) (P = 0.50), and maternal satisfaction on birth process were a median of 7 (interquartile range, 7-8) versus 7 (interquartile range, 7-8) (P = 0.40) for the early versus delayed amniotomy arms, respectively.
CONCLUSION: In term nulliparas with cervices ripened by Foley catheter, immediate oxytocin and early amniotomy compared with a planned 4-h delay to amniotomy shortened the intervention-to-delivery interval but did not significantly reduce the cesarean delivery rate.
DESIGN: randomised controlled trial of nulliparous women with spontaneous labour at term.
SETTING: labour suite of a university teaching hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
PARTICIPANTS: 240 women were included (120 randomised into two arms).
INTERVENTIONS: the randomisation sequence was generated using a computer randomisation program in two blocks: oxytocin infused early following amniotomy; and oxytocin infused 2 h after amniotomy.
MEASUREMENTS AND FINDINGS: labour duration, mode of delivery, oxytocin dosage used, uterine hyperstimulation, postpartum haemorrhage, Apgar score and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit were recorded. No differences in vaginal delivery rate (62.9% vs 70.9%; p = 0.248) and second-stage labour were found between the early and delayed oxytocin infusion groups (21.2 ± 18.3 min vs 25.5 ± 19.9 min; p = 0.220). The mean interval from amniotomy to vaginal delivery was significantly shorter for the early group (5.8 ± 1.7 h vs 7.0 ± 1.9 h; p = 0.001), and more women in the early group delivered during/before the planned review at 4 h after amniotomy (53.6% vs 10.6%; p<0.001). Maximum oxytocin usage was lower in the early group (5.6 ± 4.4 mL/hour vs 6.8 ± 5.3 mL/hour; p = 0.104).
KEY CONCLUSIONS: early oxytocin augmentation following amniotomy could be employed in low-risk primigravida, given that it is associated with a shorter labour duration without jeopardising maternal or neonatal outcomes.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: low-risk primigravida benefit from early oxytocin infusion following amniotomy, and this can be offered as an additional practice in labour room care.
METHOD: TVS of the cervix was performed before term labor induction. Induction was considered successful if vaginal delivery was achieved within 24 hours; 231 women were available for final analysis.
RESULTS: Analysis of the receiver operator characteristics curve showed an optimal cut-off for cervical length of < or = 20 mm for successful induction. Following multivariate logistic regression analysis, a sonographic short cervix (AOR 5.6; p < 0.001) was an independent predictor of successful induction but not a favorable Bishop score (p = 0.47). Among multiparas with a short cervix, positive and negative predictive values for successful induction were 98% (95% CI 90-100%) and 21% (95% CI 13%-32%) and among nulliparas, predictive values were 69% (95% CI 53%-82%) and 77% (95% CI 64%-87%) respectively.
CONCLUSION: In nulliparas, cervical length can usefully predict labor induction outcome.
METHODS: Parous women with favorable cervixes after amniotomy for labor induction were randomized to immediate titrated oxytocin or placebo intravenous infusion in a double-blind noninferiority trial. After 4 hours, study infusions were stopped, the women were assessed, and open-label oxytocin was started if required. Maternal satisfaction with the birth process was assessed with a 10-point visual numerical rating scale (lower score, greater satisfaction).
RESULTS: Vaginal delivery rates at 12 hours were 91 of 96 (94.8%) compared with 91 of 94 (96.8%) (relative risk 0.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.92-1.04, P=.72), and maternal satisfaction on a visual numerical rating scale (median [interquartile range]) was 3 [3-4] compared with 3 [3-5], P=.36 for immediate compared with delayed arm, respectively). Cesarean delivery, maternal fever, postpartum hemorrhage, uterine hyperactivity, and adverse neonatal outcome rates were similar between arms. The immediate oxytocin arm had a shorter amniotomy-to-delivery interval of 5.3±3.1 compared with 6.9±2.9 hours (Plabor induction in parous women with favorable cervixes. The choice should take into account local resources and the woman's wish.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN Register, http://isrctn.org, ISRCTN51476259.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: I.
METHODS: A randomized trial was performed in a university hospital in Malaysia. Participants were nulliparas at term with unripe cervixes (Bishop Score ≤ 5) admitted for IoL who were randomized to digital or speculum-aided transcervical Foley catheter insertion in lithotomy position. Primary outcomes were insertion duration, pain score [11-point Visual Numerical Rating Scale (VNRS)], and failure. All primary outcomes were recorded after the first insertion.
RESULTS: Data from 86 participants were analysed. Insertion duration (with standard deviation) was 2.72 ± 1.85 vs. 2.25 ± 0.55 min p = 0.12, pain score (VNRS) median [interquartile range] 3.5 [2-5] vs. 3 [2-5] p = 0.72 and failure 2/42 (5%) vs. 0/44 (0%) p = 0.24 for digital vs speculum respectively. There was no significant difference found between the two groups for all three primary outcomes. Induction to delivery 30.7 ± 9.4 vs 29.6 ± 11.5 h p = 0.64, Cesarean section 25/60 (64%) vs 28/64 (60%) RR 0.9 95% CI p = 0.7 and maternal satisfaction VNRS score with the birth process 7 [IQR 6-8] vs 7 [7-8] p = 0.97 for digital vs. speculum arms respectively. Other labor, delivery and neonatal secondary outcomes were not significantly different.
CONCLUSION: Digital and speculum insertion in nulliparas with unripe cervixes had similar insertion performance. As digital insertion required less equipment and consumables, it could be the preferred insertion method for the equally adept and the insertion technique to train towards.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was registered with ISRCTN registration number 13804902 on 15 November 2017.
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