Objective: To compare preterm birth rate and neonatal outcome in twin gestations randomized to either 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) or placebo.
Materials and methods: Women with twin gestations between 20-30 weeks were randomized to receive weekly injections of either 250 mg 17P injection (Group I), or placebo (Group II). Maternal and neonatal outcome data was recorded.
Results: Thirty twin intrauterine pregnancies were randomized; 16 received 17P and 14 received placebo. Demographic data as well as past history and gestational age at randomization were equivalent between groups (P = 0.286-0.847). All patients in both groups were Medicaid recipients. The incidence of preterm labor (P = 0.980), and premature rupture of the membranes (P = 0.525) were the same between groups. Gestational age at delivery was also similar between 17P (33.9 weeks) versus placebo (33.1 weeks, P = 0.190) as was the incidence of preterm birth <35 weeks (44% vs 79%, P = 0.117). Infant weight (P = 0.641), Apgar score at 5 minutes (P = 0.338) as well as neonatal morbidity such as respiratory distress syndrome (P = 0.838), patent ductus arteriosus (P = 0.704), intraventricular hemorrhage (P = 0.851) and necrotizing enterocolitis (P = 0.946) showed no difference. Days spent in the NICU among 17P (18.4) versus placebo (17.3, P = 0.155), neonatal death (P = 0.359) and those infants discharged with neurologic handicap (P = 0.594) were not different between groups.
Conclusion: Amongst this group of twin gestations weekly 17HP injections did not reduce the incidence of preterm birth or the complications associated with prematurity.