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Mifepristone prior to osmotic dilators for dilation and evacuation cervical preparation: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study.



To evaluate mifepristone impact on osmotic dilator placement and procedural outcomes when given 18 to 24 hours before dilator placement for dilation and evacuation (D&E) at 18 weeks 0 days to 23 weeks 6 days gestation.

Study design

We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial from April 2019 through February 2021, enrolling participants undergoing osmotic dilator (Dilapan) placement for a planned, next-day D&E. Participants took mifepristone 200 mg or placebo orally 18 to 24 hours before dilator placement. We used a gestational age-based protocol for minimum number of dilators. Our primary outcome was the proportion of participants for whom 2 or more additional dilators could be placed compared to the minimum gestational age-based standard. We secondarily evaluated cervical dilation after dilator removal in the operating room, subjective procedure ease, and complication rates (cervical laceration, uterine perforation, blood transfusion, infection, hospitalization, or extramural delivery).


Of the planned 66 participants, we enrolled 44 (stopped due to coronavirus disease 2019-related obstacles), and 41 (19 mifepristone; 22 placebo) completed the study. We placed 2 or more additional dilators compared to standard in 7 (36.8%) and 3 (13.6%) participants after mifepristone and placebo, respectively (p = 0.14). We measured greater median initial cervical dilation in the mifepristone (3.2 cm[2.6-3.6]) compared to placebo (2.6 cm[2.2-3.0]) group, p = 0.03. Surgeon's perception of procedure being "easy" (8/19[42.1] vs 9/22[40.9], respectively, p = 1.00) and complication rate (3/19[15.8%] vs 3/22[13.6], respectively, p = 1.00) did not differ.


Our underpowered study did not demonstrate a difference in cervical dilator placement, but mifepristone 18 to 24 hours prior to dilators increases cervical dilation without increasing complications.


Mifepristone 18 to 24 hours prior to cervical dilator placement may be a useful adjunct to cervical dilators based on increased cervical dilation at time of procedure; however, logistical barriers, such as an additional visit, may preclude routine adoption without definite clinical benefit.

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