Association between infection and fever in terminations of pregnancy using misoprostol: a retrospective cohort study

Tobias A. J. Nijman*, Kevin G. J. A. Voogdt, Pim W. Teunissen, Patrick J. (JP) van der Voorn, Christianne J. M. de Groot, Petra C. A. M. Bakker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Fever is a well-known side effect of misoprostol, but clinically difficult to distinguish from an intra uterine infection. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of fever in terminations of pregnancy (TOP) using misoprostol and to evaluate fever as indication of intra uterine infection.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed. Consecutive second trimester TOP with misoprostol between January 2008 and October 2012 were selected. We included 403 cases and determined the incidence of fever. To examine intra uterine infection as plausible cause of fever, pathological examination reports of placentas were reviewed for signs of infections.

Results: The incidence of fever was 42%. Logistic regression showed a dose dependent association between dosage misoprostol and degree of fever (OR 1.86; 95% CI: 1.3-2.7). There was no association between fever and epidural analgesia. Fever has a sensitivity of 55% and a specificity of 58% as a marker of intra uterine infection. The positive predictive value of fever for an intra uterine infection is 4% and the negative predictive value is 98%.

Conclusion: Administration of misoprostol for the indication TOP is strongly associated with fever during labor. Fever is a poor predictor of intra uterine infection in the context of TOP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Number of pages7
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Misoprostol
  • Fever
  • Termination of pregnancy
  • Abortion
  • Infection


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