Mifepristone pretreatment followed by misoprostol 200 mcg buccal for the medical management of intrauterine fetal death at 14–28 weeks: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind trial



      To evaluate whether fetal and placental expulsion is more likely within 48 h if women receive mifepristone pre-treatment vs placebo pre-treatment followed by misoprostol 200 mcg buccally for treatment of fetal death at 14 weeks 0 days to 28 weeks and 6 days gestation.

      Study design

      We randomized 176 women with a confirmed fetal death between 14 weeks and 0 days to 28 weeks and 6 days to mifepristone 200 mg or placebo; 24 h later all participants received misoprostol 200 mcg buccally every 3 h for up to 16 doses or 48 h. The trial took place in Hanoi, Vietnam and Mexico City in 2015–2018.


      Complete expulsion of the fetus and placenta within 48 h of misoprostol administration occurred in 74 of 90 women (82.2%, 95% confidence interval (CI), 72.7%-89.5%) in the mifepristone-misoprostol group and in 70 of 86 women (81.4%, 95% CI, 71.6%–89.0%) in the placebo-misoprostol group (Relative Risk (RR) 1.01, 95%CI 0.87–1.16, p = 0.887). The median time from the start of the misoprostol induction to fetal expulsion was shorter among women who received mifepristone–misoprostol compared to women assigned to placebo-misoprostol (7 h vs ±5 vs 12 ± 13 h; p < 0.001). Women in the mifepristone-misoprostol group were more likely to expel the fetus within 24 h of the start of misoprostol administration (96% vs 78%; RR 1.22 (1.09–1.39) p = 0.009).


      Mifepristone-misoprostol did not result in a higher rate of complete expulsion of the fetus and the placenta within 48 h of the start of misoprostol administration without any additional surgical intervention or medication (e.g. additional misoprostol doses or oxytocin) than placebo-misoprostol. However, treatment with mifepristone-misoprostol did result in a shorter time to expulsion than placebo misoprostol.


      Pretreatment with mifepristone followed by misoprostol bucally resulted in a shorter treatment time for medical management of fetal death than treatment with misoprostol alone. Pre-treatment with mifepristone may be more acceptable to women and providers by both reducing the length of hospital stay and the amount of misoprostol required.


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