Midtrimester dilation and evacuation versus prostaglandin induction: a comparison of composite outcomes

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Oct;205(4):386.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.07.028. Epub 2011 Jul 22.


Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the optimal procedure for midtrimester uterine evacuation.

Study design: This was a retrospective cohort study of women undergoing midtrimester uterine evacuation by prostaglandin induction or dilation and evacuation (D&E). Primary outcome was composite complication, defined as any of the following: infection, need for additional surgery, unexpected admission or readmission, serious maternal morbidity, and/or maternal death.

Results: Two hundred twenty patients met inclusion criteria: 94 D&E and 126 induction. D&E was associated with less composite complications (15% vs 28%, P = .02), which persisted in adjusted analysis (adjusted odds ratio, 0.38; 95% confidence interval, 0.15-0.99; P = .05). Women in the induction group had higher rates of retained placenta requiring curettage (22% vs 2%, P = .01), whereas cervical injury was more common in the D&E group (5% vs 0%, P = .01). Median length of stay was significantly shorter in the D&E group (5.7 hours vs 28.4 hours, P < .001).

Conclusion: Midtrimester D&E is associated with fewer complications than prostaglandin induction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / methods*
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dilatation and Curettage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Prostaglandins / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Prostaglandins