A randomized trial of Foley balloon induction of labor trial in nulliparas (FIAT-N)

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With an increasing rate of induction of labor, it is important to choose induction methods that are safe and efficient in achieving a vaginal delivery. The optimal method for inducing nulliparous women with an unfavorable cervix is not known.


We sought to determine if induction of labor with simultaneous use of oxytocin and Foley balloon vs sequential use of Foley balloon followed by oxytocin decreases the time to delivery in nulliparous women.


We conducted a randomized controlled trial of nulliparous women presenting for induction at a single institution from December 2013 through March 2015. After decision for induction was made by their primary provider, women with gestational age ≥24 weeks with a nonanomalous, singleton fetus in vertex presentation with intact membranes were offered participation. Exclusion criteria included history of uterine surgery, unexplained vaginal bleeding, latex allergy, or contraindication to vaginal delivery. Participants were randomized to either simultaneous (oxytocin and Foley balloon) or sequential (oxytocin after expulsion of Foley balloon) induction group. The primary outcome was time from induction to delivery. Secondary outcomes included mode of delivery, estimated blood loss, postpartum hemorrhage, chorioamnionitis, and composite neonatal outcome. Maternal and neonatal outcomes were collected via chart review. Analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis.


A total of 166 patients were enrolled; 82 in the simultaneous and 84 in the sequential group. There were no differences in baseline characteristics in the 2 groups. Patients who received simultaneous oxytocin with insertion of a Foley balloon delivered significantly earlier (15.92 vs 18.87 hours, P = .004) than those in the sequential group. There was no difference in rate of cesarean delivery, estimated blood loss, postpartum hemorrhage, chorioamnionitis, or composite neonatal outcome.


Simultaneous use of oxytocin and Foley balloon for induction of labor results in a significantly shorter interval to delivery in nulliparas.

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