Effect of a prostaglandin E1 analogue (gemeprost) on uterine and luteal circulation in normal first trimester pregnancies. A Doppler velocimetry study

Lil Valentin, Povilas Sladkevicius, Ricardo Laurini, Hanna Söderberg, Per Olofsson, Karel Marsal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of gemeprost on utero-placental and luteal circulation and on the embryo/fetus in normal first trimester pregnancies. STUDY DESIGN: Sixty-seven women with a normal first trimester pregnancy requesting termination of pregnancy for psychosocial reasons were randomly allocated to pre-operative treatment with vaginal suppositories containing placebo or gemeprost. The women underwent transvaginal color and spectral Doppler ultrasound examination before the application of the suppository, 4 h after the application of the suppository but before the abortion, and on the seventh post-operative day. Blood flow velocities in the uterine and subchorionic arteries, the intrachorionic area and arteries in the wall of the corpus luteum and the embryonic/fetal heart rate were measured. RESULTS: The median value for pulsatility index (PI) in the dominant uterine artery was 2.4 before treatment with gemeprost and 8.5 4 h after treatment (P = 0.0006); the corresponding values for time-averaged maximum velocity (TAMXV) being 27 cm/s and 10 cm/s (P = 0.0006). Four (14%) of 28 embryos/fetuses in the gemeprost group were dead 4 h after treatment with gemeprost and the median heart rate of those still alive was significantly lower than before treatment (130 vs. 163 bpm; P = 0.003). In the placebo group, the results for the uterine arteries and the embryonic/fetal heart rate did not differ significantly between the first and second ultrasound examinations. The median values for PI and TAMXV in the arteries of the corpus luteum wall at the first ultrasound examination were 0.71 and 18 cm/s, respectively, in the placebo group and 0.71 and 20 cm/s, respectively, in the gemeprost group. These values remained almost unchanged at the second and third ultrasound examinations in both groups. CONCLUSION: Gemeprost has profound effects on utero-placental circulation in the first trimester and can induce embryonic/fetal bradycardia and sometimes embryonic/fetal demise. It has no unequivocal effect on luteal circulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine

Free keywords

  • Corpus luteum
  • Utero-placental circulation
  • Early pregnancy
  • Doppler ultrasound


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