Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/99715
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Type: Journal article
Title: Different treatment regimens of magnesium sulphate for tocolysis in women in preterm labour
Author: McNamara, H.
Crowther, C.
Brown, J.
Citation: Cohrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2015; 2015(12):1-38
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1469-493X
1469-493X
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Helen C McNamara, Caroline A Crowther, Julie Brown
Abstract: Background: Magnesium sulphate has been used to inhibit preterm labour to prevent preterm birth. There is no consensus as to the safety profile of different treatment regimens with respect to dose, duration, route and timing of administration. Objectives: To assess the efficacy and safety of alternative magnesium sulphate regimens when used as single agent tocolytic therapy during pregnancy. Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (30 September 2015) and reference lists of retrieved studies. Selection criteria: Randomised trials comparing different magnesium sulphate treatment regimens when used as single agent tocolytic therapy during pregnancy in women in preterm labour. Quasi-randomised trials were eligible for inclusion but none were identified. Cross-over and cluster trials were not eligible for inclusion. Health outcomes were considered at the level of the mother, the infant/child and the health service. Intervention: intravenous or oral magnesium sulphate given alone for tocolysis. Comparison: alternative dosing regimens of magnesium sulphate given alone for tocolysis. Data collection and analysis Two review authors independently assessed trial eligibility and quality and extracted data. Main results: Three trials including 360 women and their infants were identified as eligible for inclusion in this review. Two trials were rated as low risk of bias for random sequence generation and concealment of allocation. A third trial was assessed as unclear risk of bias for these domains but did not report data for any of the outcomes examined in this review. No trials were rated to be of high quality overall. Intravenous magnesium sulphate was administered according to low-dose regimens (4 g loading dose followed by 2 g/hour continuous infusion and/or increased by 1 g/hour hourly until successful tocolysis or failure of treatment), or high-dose regimens (4 g loading dose followed by 5 g/hour continuous infusion and increased by 1 g/hour hourly until successful tocolysis or failure of treatment, or 6 g loading dose followed by 2 g/hour continuous infusion and increased by 1 g/hour hourly until successful tocolysis or failure of treatment). There were no differences seen between high-dose magnesium sulphate regimens compared with low-dose magnesium sulphate regimens for the primary outcome of fetal, neonatal and infant death (risk ratio (RR) 0.43, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.12 to 1.56; one trial, 100 infants). Using the GRADE approach, the evidence for fetal, neonatal and infant death was considered to be VERY LOW quality. No data were reported for any of the other primary maternal and infant health outcomes (birth less than 48 hours after trial entry; composite serious infant outcome; composite serious maternal outcome). There were no clear differences seen between high-dose magnesium sulphate regimens compared with low-dose magnesium sulphate regimens for the secondary infant health outcomes of fetal death; neonatal death; and rate of hypocalcaemia, osteopenia or fracture; and secondary maternal health outcomes of rate of caesarean birth; pulmonary oedema; and maternal self-reported adverse effects. Pulmonary oedema was reported in two women given high-dose magnesium sulphate, but not in any of the women given low-dose magnesium sulphate. In a single trial of high and low doses of magnesium sulphate for tocolysis including 100 infants, the risk of respiratory distress syndrome was lower with use of a high-dose regimen compared with a low-dose regimen (RR 0.31, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.88; one trial, 100 infants). Using the GRADE approach, the evidence for respiratory distress syndrome was judged to be LOW quality. No difference was seen in the rate of admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. However, for those babies admitted, a high-dose regimen was associated with a reduction in the length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit compared with a low-dose regimen (mean difference -3.10 days, 95% confidence interval -5.48 to -0.72). We found no data for the majority of our secondary outcomes. Authors' conclusions: There are limited data available (three studies, with data from only two studies) comparing different dosing regimens of magnesium sulphate given as single agent tocolytic therapy for the prevention of preterm birth. There is no evidence examining duration of therapy, timing of therapy and the role for repeat dosing. Downgrading decisions for our primary outcome of fetal, neonatal and infant death were based on wide confidence intervals (crossing the line of no effect), lack of blinding and a limited number of studies. No data were available for any of our other important outcomes: birth less than 48 hours after trial entry; composite serious infant outcome; composite serious maternal outcome. The data are limited by volume and the outcomes reported. Only eight of our 45 pre-specified primary and secondary maternal and infant health outcomes were reported on in the included studies. No long-term outcomes were reported. Downgrading decisions for the evidence on the risk of respiratory distress were based on wide confidence intervals (crossing the line of no effect) and lack of blinding. There is some evidence from a single study suggesting a reduction in the length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit and a reduced risk of respiratory distress syndrome where a high-dose regimen of magnesium sulphate has been used compared with a low-dose regimen. However, given that evidence has been drawn from a single study (with a small sample size), these data should be interpreted with caution. Magnesium sulphate has been shown to be of benefit in a wide range of obstetric settings, although it has not been recommended for tocolysis. In clinical settings where health benefits are established, further trials are needed to address the lack of evidence regarding the optimal dose (loading dose and maintenance dose), duration of therapy, timing of therapy and role for repeat dosing in terms of efficacy and safety for mothers and their children. Ongoing examination of different regimens with respect to important health outcomes is required.
Keywords: Bone diseases; metabolic; fetal death; fractures; bone; hypocalcemia; infant death; injections; intravenous; magnesium sulfate; obstetric labor; premature; perinatal death; premature birth; randomized controlled trials as topic; tocolysis; tocolytic agents
Description: Intervention Review. Editorial group: Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group. Publication status and date: New, published in Issue 12, 2015. Review content assessed as up-to-date: 30 September 2015.
Rights: Copyright © 2015 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
RMID: 0030042349
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011200.pub2
Appears in Collections:Medical Sciences publications

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