Safety of digoxin for fetal demise before second-trimester abortion by dilation and evacuation

Gillian Dean, Lisa Colarossi, Britt Lunde, Adam R. Jacobs, Lauren M. Porsch, Maureen E. Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Digoxin is used to induce fetal demise before dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion. Published data on the safety of digoxin in abortion care are limited. Study Design: We conducted a retrospective cohort study with historical controls at a large family planning center. We reviewed the records of patients at 18 to 24 weeks' gestation who received digoxin before D&E from May 15, 2007 (date the center initiated digoxin use), through March 31, 2008. We also reviewed the records of patients who presented for D&E without digoxin from February 22, 2006, through May 12, 2007. We compared the rates of immediate complications. Results: We included 566 digoxin patients and 513 controls. Eleven spontaneous abortions occurred in the digoxin cohort; none occurred among controls (p<.001). We found 19 cases of infection in the digoxin cohort and three among controls (odds ratio 5.91; 95% confidence interval 1.74-20.07). Eleven digoxin patients were admitted to a hospital after the preoperative visit; no controls were admitted (p<.001). Conclusions: Patients who received digoxin before D&E were more likely to experience spontaneous abortion, infection and hospital admission than controls who underwent D&E without digoxin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-149
Number of pages6
JournalContraception
Volume85
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Abortion
  • Digoxin
  • Dilation and evacuation
  • Feticide
  • Safety

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