Misoprostol versus curettage in women with early pregnancy failure after initial expectant management: A randomized trial

G. C.M. Graziosi*, B. W.J. Mol, P. J.H. Reuwer, A. Drogtrop, H. W. Bruinse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Little is known about the effectiveness of misoprostol treatment in women with early pregnancy failure who have been managed expectantly. We therefore performed a randomized trial on this subject. Methods: Women with early pregnancy failure, who had been managed expectantly for at least 1 week, were assigned randomly (using a computer-generated list) to receive either vaginal misoprostol 800 μg or curettage. If, after 24 h, there had not been complete evacuation, a further 800 μg of misoprostol was administered. In the absence of complete evacuation after >3 days, curettage was performed. The primary end-point was the complete evacuation of the products of conception, with secondary end-points being the occurrence of side effects, pain intensity, need for analgesics, and intensity and duration of bleeding. Results: In the misoprostol group, 47% (37/79) required curettage due to incomplete evacuation. After 1 week, evacuation was complete in 85% (67 out of 79) of the misoprostol group and 93% (70 out of 75) of the turettage group. Severity of pain, bleeding and emergency evacuation was higher in the misoprostol group. The complication rate was 0% for misoprostol and 4% for curettage. Conclusions: Curettage is superior to misoprostol in the evacuation of early pregnancy failure after failed expectant management. However, misoprostol could be clinically useful since it reduces the need for curettage by half and has a lower complication rate, at the expense of increased paih, vaginal bleeding and emergency evacuation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1894-1899
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Curettage
  • Early pregnancy failure
  • Expectant management
  • Misoprostol
  • Randomized trial


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