In 42 patients with intrauterine fetal death between the 29th and 43rd week of gestation, a standard, 2-step procedure was employed to deliver the dead fetus. After priming with an intracervical application of PGF2??- or PGE2-gel, labor was induced by extra-amniotic prostaglandin (PG) gel or oxytocin infusion while under epidural anesthesia. Intracervical PG application led to a significant improvement in the modified Bishop score from 1.3 to 7.6 after a mean of 8 h. In 20 patients labor and progressive dilatation of the cervix occurred after intracervical PG gel application alone. The average total therapy time was 18.1 h in patients treated with PGF2?? and 13.7 h in the PGE2-treated group. The average induction of labor to delivery intervals were 8.8 h in the PGF2??- and 7.1 h in the PGE2-group. Gastrointestinal side effects were observed in only 5 patients. The combination of cervical ripening with intracervical PG gel application and induction of labor by extra-amniotic PG gel under epidural anesthesia is an efficient and safe method for treatment of intrauterine fetal death. ?? 1985.
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