Intravenous (IV) Nitroglycerin for Versions in Multiparous Women

Overview

Breech presentations (where a baby presents with feet or bottom down) have an increased risk of perinatal and neonatal complications, and are usually delivered by cesarean section. As an alternative, so that the baby can be delivered vaginally, an attempt can be made to turn the baby so that it is head down: this manoeuvre is called an external cephalic version (ECV).

Drugs that relax the uterus (tocolytic agents) are sometimes used to help improve ECV success rates. Nitroglycerin is a tocolytic agent, but intravenous nitroglycerin has not been tested as an agent to help ECV. There is some suggestion that nitroglycerin may be more helpful in women who have not previously been pregnant (nulliparous women) than in women who have been pregnant more than once (multiparous women), and so we have planned two trials.

This study is designed to answer the following questions for multiparous women:

Will administration of IV nitroglycerin for uterine relaxation improve ECV success rates? Will an increase in ECV success result in a decreased cesarean section rate?

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: October 2006

Interventions

  • Drug: IV Nitroglycerin
    • IV injection, initial does of 1mL, with further doses of 1-3mL, up to a recommended maximum of 10mL.
  • Drug: Normal saline
    • IV injection, initial does of 1mL, with further doses of 1-3mL, up to a recommended maximum of 10mL

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Placebo Comparator: 2
    • Placebo solution was normal saline. After an initial 1mL dose, further doses could be given in 1-3mL increments until uterine relaxation was achieved, or up to a recommended maximum of 10mL.
  • Active Comparator: 1
    • Treatment solution consisted of 100micrograms/mL of nitroglycerin. After an initial 1mL dose, further doses could be given in 1-3mL increments until uterine relaxation was achieved, or up to a recommended maximum of 10mL.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Success of ECV (if fetus turned from Breech to cephalic) at end of ECV procedure
    • Time Frame: Recorded at the end of ECV attempt

Secondary Measures

  • Success of ECV (ie fetus in cephalic presentation) recorded at time of delivery
    • Time Frame: Recorded at time of birth
  • Mode of delivery
    • Time Frame: Recorded at time of birth
  • Maternal side effects and adverse events
    • Time Frame: Recorded until date of birth (up to 3 weeks’ duration).

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • any non-cephalic presentation
  • singleton pregnancy
  • >/= 37 weeks gestational age
  • normal amniotic fluid volume
  • reassuring fetal heart rate

Exclusion Criteria

  • labor
  • ruptured membranes
  • history of third trimester bleeding
  • any pre-existing uterine scar
  • pregnancy induced hypertension and gestational diabetes
  • oligohydramnios and polyhydramnios
  • intrauterine growth restriction or macrosomia
  • hypotension or any serious medical illness
  • inability to comprehend consent form

Gender Eligibility: Female

Minimum Age: N/A

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Calgary
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Dr B Allan, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rockyview General Hospital
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Bruce B Allan, MD PhD, Principal Investigator, Calgary Health Region

Citations Reporting on Results

Hilton J, Allan B, Swaby C, Wahba R, Jarrell J, Wood S, Ross S, Tran Q. Intravenous nitroglycerin for external cephalic version: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Sep;114(3):560-7. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181b05a19. Erratum in: Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Nov;114(5):1148. Wah, Raouf [corrected to Wahba, Raouf].

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