Mifepristone combined with misoprostol for second-trimester abortion (MM) and intra-amniotic injection of ethacridine lactate (EL; Rivanol®) are the common methods for termination of second-trimester pregnancy in China. The systematic review of relevant literature was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness and safety on termination of second-trimester pregnancy using MM, introduced in 1988 in China, versus the Chinese routinely used method since 1970—EL. The review was conducted to evaluate mifepristone combined with the misoprostol versus intra-amniotic injection of ethacridine lactate in China for termination of second-trimester pregnancy with respect to efficacy, side effects, complications and so on.
The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE, MEDLINE, POPLINE, TOXLINE, World Health Organization-Department of Reproductive Health and Research, Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, Chinese Journal Full-text Database and Chinese Science & Technology Journal Database were systematically searched. Reference lists for English and Chinese-language reports (published from 1966 to 2008) were searched. All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on second-trimester abortion by combination of mifepristone and misoprostol versus ethacridine lactate, which conducted in China, were analyzed. Trial quality was assessed, and data extraction was made independently by two reviewers.
Fifteen original RCTs using MM versus EL were included. Three trials used oral misoprostol, six trials used vaginal misoprostol, and six trials used oral plus vaginal misoprostol. Failure rate of abortion was 2.0% to 5.9% in the MM group and 7.4% to 20.7% in the EL group. The incidence of postabortion curettage was similar in the two groups. The time of labor and hospitalization for abortion in the MM group were shorter compared with EL group. The blood loss within 2 h of abortion in the MM group was significantly less than that in the EL group, but the blood loss within 24 h of abortion was the same in both groups. More gastrointestinal side effects occurred with the MM regimen, whereas cervical injury occurred more often in the EL group.
Compared with the intra-amniotic injection of ethacridine lactate, mifepristone/misoprostol has a higher success rate and shorter time of labor with more gastrointestinal side effects for termination of second-trimester pregnancy.