Induction of labor in patients with an unfavorable cervix after a cesarean using an osmotic dilator versus vaginal prostaglandin

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Trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) is a viable option for safe delivery. In some cases cervical ripening and subsequent labor induction is necessary. However, the commonly used prostaglandins are not licensed in this subgroup of patients and are associated with an increased risk of uterine rupture.


This cohort study compares maternal and neonatal outcomes of TOLAC in women (n=82) requiring cervical ripening agents (osmotic dilator vs. prostaglandins). The initial Bishop scores (BSs) were 2 (0-5) and 3 (0-5) (osmotic dilator and prostaglandin group, respectively). In this retrospective analysis, Fisher's exact test, the Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test and Pearson's chi-squared test were utilized.


Vaginal birth rate (including operative delivery) was 55% (18/33) in the osmotic dilator group vs. 51% (25/49) in the dinoprostone group (P 0.886). Between 97% and 92% (32/33 and 45/49) (100%, 100%) of neonates had an Apgar score of >8 after 1 min (5, 10 min, respectively). The time between administration of the agent and onset of labor was 36 and 17.1 h (mean, Dilapan-S® group, dinoprostone group, respectively). Time from onset of labor to delivery was similar in both groups with 4.4 and 4.9 h (mean, Dilapan-S® group, dinoprostone group, respectively). Patients receiving cervical ripening with Dilapan-S® required oxytocin in 97% (32/33) of cases. Some patients presented with spontaneous onset of labor, mostly in the dinoprostone group (24/49, 49%). Amniotomy was performed in 64% and 49% (21/33 and 24/49) of cases (Dilapan-S® group and dinoprostone group, respectively).


This pilot study examines the application of an osmotic dilator for cervical ripening to promote vaginal delivery in women who previously delivered via cesarean section. In our experience, the osmotic dilator gives obstetricians a chance to perform induction of labor in these women.

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