Induction of labor with use of a Foley catheter and extraamniotic corticosteroids

G. Barkai*, S. B. Cohen, S. Kees, A. Lusky, V. Margalit, S. Mashiach, E. Schiff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to examine the hypothesis that corticosteroids when administered extraamniotically, can enhance the labor process and reduce the induction-to-delivery interval. STUDY DESIGN: A double-blind, randomized study was conducted on 98 women with a gestational age of 36 to 42 weeks, an unfavorable cervix, and medical indications for delivery, who were assigned to receive either 20 mg of dexamethasone in saline solution (study group, n = 50) or saline solution only (control group, n = 48) administered extraamniotically through an intracervical inflated Foley balloon catheter. The net effect of steroids was assessed with use of multivariant logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The mean time intervals between induction of labor to the active phase and between induction of labor to delivery were significantly shorter in the study group compared with those of the control group (7.8 ± 3.1 hours vs 9.9 ± 3.9 hours, p < 0.03. 11.9 ± 3.0 hours VS 14.5 ± 4.8 hours, p < 0.01, respectively). Those not receiving steroids were at a 3.2 higher risk of having a longer time interval of induction to delivery (95% confidence interval 1.1 to 9.5). The general success rate in achieving vaginal delivery was, however, similar between the groups. CONCLUSIONS: Induction of labor with use of an intracervical Foley balloon catheter and extraamniotic corticosteroids reduces the time interval from induction of labor to delivery. This may indicate a possible role for corticosteroids in the parturition process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1145-1148
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Corticosteroids
  • Foley catheter
  • Induction of labor


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