BACKGROUND: Induction of labour has become an increasingly common procedure. Ripening methods, including mechanical devices and pharmacological agents, improve the success rate of labour induction.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy and safety of the double-balloon catheter with prostaglandin E2 agents used for labour induction.
SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched electronic sources from MEDLINE, Embase and Web of Science, the Cochrane Library Database of Systematic Reviews, and ClinicalTrials.gov website.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Only randomised controlled trials comparing the PGE2 agents with the double-balloon catheter for cervical ripening and labour induction in women with unfavourable cervices were included in the analysis.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: The main outcomes included the vaginal delivery rate within 24 hours and risk of caesarean section. We calculated relative risks and mean differences using fixed- and random-effects models.
MAIN RESULTS: Nine studies (1866 patients) were included in this systematic review. Both the double-balloon catheter and PGE2 agents were comparable with regard to rate of caesarean section (RR 0.92; 95% CI 0.79, 1.07), vaginal delivery within 24 hours (RR 0.95; 95% CI 0.78, 1.16) and maternal adverse events, but the risk of excessive uterine activity (RR 10.02; 95% CI 3.99, 25.17) and need for neonatal intensive care unit admissions (RR 1.31; 95% CI 1.01, 1.69) were significantly increased in women who received PGE2 agents.
CONCLUSIONS: The double-balloon catheter demonstrated greater safety and cost-effectiveness than PGE2 agents for cervical ripening and labour induction. The efficacy profiles of both methods were similar.
TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: Double-balloon catheter versus prostaglandin E2 for cervical ripening and labour induction.