High-dose oxytocin is not associated with maternal temperature elevation: A retrospective cohort study of mid-trimester pregnancy with intrauterine fetal demise

Academic Article


  • Background: Maternal intrapartum fever has been associated with an increased incidence of neonatal morbidity. In this retrospective cohort study, we evaluated whether intravenous oxytocin has a fever-inducing effect. Oxytocin augments secretion of prostaglandins E 2 and F 2α which are inflammatory mediators known to elevate body temperature. Methods: Between January 2005 and June 2008, 279 patients were admitted with mid-trimester fetal demise. Patients meeting inclusion criteria included 34 women who received a high-dose intravenous oxytocin regimen and 29 patients who delivered after spontaneous labor without the need for augmentation. Oral temperatures were measured on admission and at delivery. Results: The median length of oxytocin infusion was 5.3 h. The calculated temperature change was -0.14°C in the oxytocin group and +0.12°C in the control group. These findings were confirmed in a model adjusted for patients' white blood cell count and duration of labor. We did not observe an effect of analgesia type, epidural versus intravenous analgesia, on duration of labor. Conclusion: Based on this comparative analysis of pregnant women who received high-doses of oxytocin, we found insufficient evidence to support that high-dose intravenous oxytocin elevates intrapartum maternal temperature. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Frölich MA; Esame A; Warren WM; Owen J
  • Start Page

  • 30
  • End Page

  • 33
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 1