Uterine rupture associated with misoprostol labor induction in women with previous cesarean delivery.
Misoprostol in oral or vaginal form is an established method of labour induction worldwide. Its use after previous caesarean section is associated with a high rate of uterine rupture; according to international guidelines it is therefore contraindicated in this setting. However the evidence base for this recommendation comprises case reports, one randomised trial that was discontinued prematurely, and numerous low quality retrospective data analyses published between 1997 and 2004. New insights into e.g. resorption kinetics, dosage and application intervals, dose dependant uterine hyperstimulation rates, as well as increasing clinical experiencewithmisoprostol have lead to a critical reappraisal of these “historical” studies. Accordingly the evidence supporting a ban on vaginal and particularly oral misoprostol for labour induction in the context of a scarred uterus is currently insufficient for a convincing guideline recommendation. In view of the clear advantages of misoprostol over prostaglandin E2 (cheaper, more effective) a retrospective review of registry data should be conducted to determine the incidence of uterine rupture following misoprostol and the circumstances in which it occurs. A prospective, randomised trial could then be conducted on the basis of these findings (e.g. oral misoprostol vs. vaginal prostaglandin E2); known risk factors for uterine rupture including the type of uterine scar would need to be taken into account when selecting patients for vaginal delivery. Until new data from well-designed studies are available, misoprostol will continue to be contraindicated in clinical guidelines for use in labour induction after previous caesarean section. Zusammenfassung !