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עמוד בית
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December 2023
Nadav Cohen MD, Bracha Cohen MD, Debjyoti Karmakar MD, Ofer Lavie MD, Ariel Zilberlicht MD

Background: Cases of second trimester pregnancy loss can be treated either pharmacologically or by surgical evacuation. Misoprostol, an E1-prostaglandin analog, is used to facilitate the evacuation of the uterus.

Objectives: To determine the risk factors associated with patients who were treated with five or more repeated doses of misoprostol.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients treated with vaginal misoprostol at our institution between December 2016 and October 2021 for second trimester pregnancy loss.

Results: In total, 114 patients were eligible for analysis; 83 were treated with < 5 doses and 31 with ≥ 5. We recorded each case in which repeated doses were administered, irrespective of predetermined conditions such as gravidity, parity, maternal age, or gestational age. Moreover, cases of five or more misoprostol dosing were not associated with an increased complications rate, except for the increased duration of hospitalization (3.1 vs. 2.2 days, P-value < 0.01).

Conclusions: Repeated dosing could not be predicted before treatment among those treated with vaginally administered misoprostol for second trimester pregnancy loss. However, low complication rates of repeated dosing may reassure both physicians and patients regarding safety, efficacy, and future fertility.

December 2018
Hadas Ganer Herman MD, Zviya Kogan MD, Amran Dabas MD, Ram Kerner MD, Hagit Feit MD, Shimon Ginath MD, Jacob Bar MD MsC and Ron Sagiv MD

Background: Different clinical and sonographic parameters have been suggested to identify patients with retained products of conception. In suspected cases, the main treatment is hysteroscopic removal.

Objectives: To compare clinical, sonographic, and intraoperative findings in cases of hysteroscopy for retained products of conception, according to histology.

Methods: The results of operative hysteroscopies that were conducted between 2011 and 2016 for suspected retained products of conception were evaluated. Material was obtained and evaluated histologically. The positive histology group (n=178) included cases with confirmed trophoblastic material. The negative histology group (n=26) included cases with non-trophoblastic material.

Results: Patient demographics were similar in the groups, and both underwent operative hysteroscopy an average of 7 to 8 weeks after delivery/abortion. A history of vaginal delivery was more common among the positive histology group. The main presenting symptom in all study patients was vaginal bleeding, and the majority of cases were diagnosed at their routine postpartum/abortion follow-up visit. Sonographic parameters were similar in the groups. Intraoperatively, the performing surgeon was significantly more likely to identify true trophoblastic tissue as such than to correctly identify non-trophoblastic tissue (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Suspected retained trophoblastic material cannot be accurately differentiated from non-trophoblastic material according to clinical, sonographic, and intraprocedural criteria. Thus, hysteroscopy seems warranted in suspected cases.

September 2017
Susana Mustafa-Mikhail MD, Sharon Assaraf MD, Philippe Abecassis MD, Hanin Dabaja MD, Samer Jarrous MA, Salim Hadad PhD, Lior Lowenstein MD MS MHA

Background: Management of postoperative pain has become a growing concern, even for minor gynecological procedures. Proper postoperative pain management has been shown to lead to earlier mobilization, shortened hospital stay, and increased patient satisfaction. The optimal means of reducing the pain of pregnancy termination has not yet been determined.

Objectives: To compare the efficiency in pain management of two drugs, lornoxicam and paracetamol, given intravenously postoperatively to women who underwent abortion with dilation and curettage. 

Methods: The cohort comprised 80 women scheduled for dilation and curettage for pregnancy termination at 6–12 gestational weeks. The anesthesiologist gave 1000 mg paracetamol or 20 mg lornoxicam soon after starting the procedure, according to a randomization table. The medical staff and the patients were blinded to the drug that was administered. Pain levels were evaluated by a 10 cm visual analogue scale (VAS) at 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes following arrival at the postoperative care unit. 

Results: Mean levels of pain decreased from 60 minutes postoperative until the end of recording, reaching minimum levels at 120 minutes: 0.8 ± 0.19 and 1.5 ± 0.28, for lornoxicam and paracetamol, respectively. The differences between the groups were statistically significant (P < 0.05 from 60 minutes after the procedure until the time of discharge. 

Conclusions: Compared to women who received paracetamol, women who received lornoxicam after dilation and curettage for termination of pregnancy reported lower levels of pain, from 30 minutes postoperative until the time of discharge following the procedure. 

October 2014
Caterina De Carolis MD, Carlo Perricone MD and Roberto Perricone MD
September 2012
S.M. Glick and A.B. Jotkowitz

The recent paper by Giubilini and Minerva suggesting the ethical permissibility of infanticide of normal newborns, calling it “postbirth abortion,” represents a dangerous deterioration of generally accepted ethical norms. Their proposal represents a clear example of the so-called slippery slope and we caution against abandoning the age-old traditions of the medical profession assigning intrinsic value to human life from birth. This article discusses the proposed concept, makes comparisons with earlier similar trends of thought, and highlights the dangers of the proposal.

June 2010
M. Odeh, R. Tendler, M. Kais, O. Maximovsky, E. Ophir and J. Bornstein
Background: The results of medical treatment for early pregnancy failure are conflicting.

Objectives: To determine whether gestational sac volume measurement as well as other variables can predict the success rate of medical treatment for early pregnancy failure.

Methods: The study group comprised women diagnosed with missed abortion or anembryonic pregnancy who consented to medical treatment. Demographic data were collected and beta-human chorionic gonadotropin level was documented. Crown-rump length and the sac volume were measured using transvaginal ultrasound. TVU[1] was performed 12–24 hours after intravaginal administration of 800 µg misoprostol. If the thickness of the uterine cavity was less than 30 mm, the women were discharged. If the sac was still intact or the thickness of the uterine cavity exceeded 30 mm, they were offered an additional dosage of intravaginal misoprostol or surgical uterine evacuation.

Results: Medical treatment successfully terminated 32 pregnancies (39.5%), 30 after one dose of misoprostol, and 2 after two doses (group A) 49 underwent surgical evacuation (group B), 47 following one dose of misoprostol and 2 following two doses. There were no significant differences between the groups in age and gestational week. Gestational sac volume did not differ between groups A and B (10.03 ml and 11.98 ml respectively, P = 0.283). Parity (0.87 and 1.43, P = 0.015), previous pregnancies (2.38 and 2.88, P = 0.037), and bHCG[2] concentration (6961 and 28,748 mIU, P = 0.013) differed significantly between the groups.

Conclusions: Gestational sac volume is not a predictor of successful medical treatment for early pregnancy failure. Previous pregnancies and deliveries and higher bHCG concentration negatively affect the success rate of medical treatment.



[1] TVU = transvaginal ultrasound

[2] bHCG = beta-human chorionic gonadotropin

March 2007
T. Chelouche

This paper does not attempt to deal with the legitimate ethical or moral debate on abortion. Utilizing abortion as a subject I will show how science and medicine in general, and abortion in particular, were used as weapons of mass destruction by Nazi physicians in their zeal to comply with the political climate of the time. Nazi policy on abortion and childbirth was just one of the methods devised and designed to ensure the extermination of those whom the Nazis deemed had "lives not worth living." Physicians implemented these policies, not with the fate of their patients in mind, but rather in the name of the "state." When discussing pregnancy, abortion and childbirth during the Holocaust it is imperative to include an essay of how these issues affected the Jewish prisoner doctors in the ghettos and camps. Nazi policy dictated their actions too. From an extensive search of their testimonies, I conclude that for these doctors ethical discourse comprised a fundamental component of their functioning. I do not propose to judge them in any way and one should not, in my opinion, argue whether their behavior was or was not morally acceptable under such duress; nevertheless, unlike their Nazi counterparts, a key theme in their testimonies was to "keep their medical values."


August 2004
A. Horani, J. Ulitsky, Y. Kalish and R. Safadi
June 2003
A. Ben-Haroush, Y. Yogev, R. Mashiach and I. Meizner

Background: Bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy is a common phenomenon, associated with early pregnancy loss. In many instances a subchorionic hematoma is found sonographically.

Objective: To evaluate the possible benefit of bed-rest in women with threatened abortion and sonographically proven subchorionic hematoma, and to examine the possible relationship of duration of vaginal bleeding, hematoma size, and gestational age at diagnosis to pregnancy outcome.

Methods: The study group consisted of 230 women of 2,556 (9%) referred for ultrasound examination because of vaginal bleeding in the first half of pregnancy, who were found to have a subchorionic hematoma in the presence of a singleton live embryo or fetus. All patients were advised bed-rest at home; 200 adhered to this recommendation for the duration of vaginal bleeding (group 1) and 30 continued their usual lifestyle (group 2). All were followed with repeated sonograms at 7 day intervals until bleeding ceased, the subchorionic hematoma disappeared, or abortion occurred. The groups were compared for size of hematoma, duration of bleeding, and gestational age at diagnosis in relation to pregnancy outcome (spontaneous abortion, term or preterm delivery).

Results: The first bleeding episode occurred at 12.6 ± 3.4 weeks of gestation (range 7–20 weeks) and lasted for 28.8 ± 19.1 days (range 4–72 days). The women who adhered to bed-rest had fewer spontaneous abortions (9.9% vs. 23.3%, P = 0.006) and a higher rate of term pregnancy (89 vs. 70%, P = 0.004) than those who did not. There was no association between duration of vaginal bleeding, hematoma size, or gestational age at diagnosis of subchorionic hematoma and pregnancy outcome.

Conclusions: Fewer spontaneous abortions and a higher rate of term pregnancy were noted in the bed-rest group. However, the lack of randomization and retrospective design of the outcome data collection preclude a definite conclusion. A large prospective randomized study is required to confirm whether bed-rest has a real therapeutic effect.

November 2000
David Peleg MD, Aviva Peleg MSc and Eliezer Shalev MD

Background: Human chorionic gonadotropin, the pregnancy hormone, is synthesized by trophoblast cells which make up the placenta.

Objective: To determine whether antibody to hCG can be used to specifically detect living trophoblast in vitro by binding to the external membrane.

Methods: Trophoblast was isolated from fresh placentas of women undergoing termination of pregnancy in the first trimester and incubated with monoclonal antibody to hCG. Anti-mouse immunoglobulin G with a fluorescent marker was then added.

Results: Syncytiotrophoblast stained positive on the external surface of the cell, while controls of leukocytes, endometrial cells and hepatocytes were negative.

Conclusion: The hCG monoclonal antibody may be used to specifically detect hCG on the surface of living trophoblast in vitro.

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