Uterine rupture during induced or augmented labor in gravid women with one prior cesarean delivery

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Oct;181(4):882-6. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(99)70319-4.


Objective: Our purpose was to examine the risk of uterine rupture during induction or augmentation of labor in gravid women with 1 prior cesarean delivery.

Study design: The medical records of all gravid women with history of cesarean delivery who attempted a trial of labor during a 12-year period at a single center were reviewed. The current analysis was limited to women at term with 1 prior cesarean delivery and no other deliveries. The rate of uterine rupture in gravid women within that group undergoing induction was compared with that in spontaneously laboring women. The association of oxytocin induction, oxytocin augmentation, and use of prostaglandin E(2) gel with uterine rupture was determined. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine these associations, with control for confounding factors.

Results: Of 2774 women in the analysis, 2214 had spontaneous onset of labor and 560 women had labor induced with oxytocin or prostaglandin E(2) gel. The overall rate of rupture among all patients with induction of labor was 2.3%, in comparison with 0.7% among women with spontaneous labor (P =.001). Among 1072 patients receiving oxytocin augmentation, the rate of uterine rupture was 1.0%, in comparison with 0.4% in nonaugmented, spontaneously laboring patients (P =.1). In a logistic regression model with control for birth weight, use of epidural, duration of labor, maternal age, year of delivery, and years since last birth, induction with oxytocin was associated with a 4.6-fold increased risk of uterine rupture compared with no oxytocin use (95% confidence interval, 1.5-14.1). In that model, augmentation with oxytocin was associated with an odds ratio of 2.3 (95% confidence interval, 0.8-7.0), and use of prostaglandin E(2) gel was associated with an odds ratio of 3.2 (95% confidence interval, 0.9-10.9). These differences were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: Induction of labor with oxytocin is associated with an increased rate of uterine rupture in gravid women with 1 prior uterine scar in comparison with the rate in spontaneously laboring women. Although the rate of uterine rupture was not statistically increased during oxytocin augmentation, use of oxytocin in such cases should proceed with caution.

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section*
  • Dinoprostone / adverse effects
  • Dinoprostone / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterotomy / methods
  • Labor, Induced* / adverse effects
  • Logistic Models
  • Odds Ratio
  • Oxytocin / adverse effects
  • Oxytocin / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Trial of Labor*
  • Uterine Rupture / epidemiology*
  • Uterine Rupture / etiology


  • Oxytocin
  • Dinoprostone