Vaginal vs. sublingual misoprostol with mifepristone for cervical priming in second-trimester abortion by dilation and evacuation: a randomized clinical trial

Carbonell JL

Gallego FG

Llorente MP

Bermudez SB

Sala ES

González LV

Texido CS

Mar 2007


The study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of mifepristone 200 mg 48 h before administering misoprostol 600 mug, sublingual vs. vaginal route, prior to dilation and evacuation (D&E) in 12- to 20-week pregnancies.


Randomized clinical trial.


Clínica Mediterrania Médica, Valencia, Spain.


Women with 12- to 20-week pregnancies wanting a voluntary abortion between July 9, 2004, and February 9, 2006.


Nine hundred women were randomized to be included in one of the following four groups: (I) mifepristone 200 mg plus sublingual misoprostol 600 microg before D&E, (II) mifepristone 200 mg plus vaginal misoprostol 600 microg before D&E, (III) sublingual misoprostol 600 microg before D&E and (IV) vaginal misoprostol 600 microg before D&E.


The degree of cervical dilation achieved before D&E, surgical time necessary to terminate the pregnancy and side effects of misoprostol.


The average cervical dilation in the mifepristone groups was 12.5+/-2.8 mm (SD) [95% confidence interval (CI), 12.3-12.8] vs. 8.5+/-3.2 mm (SD) (95% CI, 8.2-8.8) in those receiving only misoprostol. Surgical time in the mifepristone sublingual misoprostol group was 11.9+/-4.3 min (SD) vs. 13.0+/-5.3 min (SD) in the sublingual misoprostol group without mifepristone (p=.007); in the mifepristone vaginal misoprostol group, the average surgical time was 12.3+/-5.0 min (SD) vs. 13.0+/-6.2 (SD) in the vaginal misoprostol group without mifepristone (p=.031).


Administering mifepristone before D&E with misoprostol in second-trimester abortions makes surgery easier and shorter and, to a certain extent, lessens the risk of cervical injuries, especially in D&E in advanced gestational periods.