A randomized trial of labor analgesia in women with pregnancy-induced hypertension

Michael J. Lucas, Shiv K. Sharma, Donald D. McIntire, Jackie Wiley, J. Elaine Sidawi, Susan M. Ramin, Kenneth J. Leveno, F. Gary Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare the peripartum and perinatal effects of epidural with intravenous labor analgesia in women with pregnancy-induced hypertension. STUDY DESIGN: Women with pregnancy-induced hypertension who had consented to participate were randomized to receive either epidural or intravenous analgesia for labor pain. Both methods were given according to standardized protocols. All women received magnesium sulfate seizure prophylaxis. Obstetric and neonatal outcomes were compared according to intent-to-treat allocation. RESULTS: Seven hundred thirty-eight women were randomized: 372 women were given epidural analgesia, and 366 women were given intravenous analgesia. Maternal characteristics were similar, including the severity of hypertension. Epidural analgesia was associated with a significantly prolonged second-stage labor, an increase in forceps deliveries, and an increase in chorioamnionitis. Cesarean delivery rates and neonatal outcomes were similar. Pain relief was superior with the epidural method. Hypotension required treatment in 11% of women in the epidural group. CONCLUSION: Epidural labor analgesia provides superior pain relief but no additional therapeutic benefit to women with pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970-975
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Epidural analgesia
  • Hypertension
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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