Objective To ascertain whether metronidazole treatment of women with a heavy growth of Gardnerella vaginalis during mid-pregnancy would reduce the risk of spontaneous preterm birth. Design A multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Setting Four metropolitan hospitals. Participants Eight hundred and seventy-nine singleton women with a heavy growth of G. vaginalis or Gram stain indicative of bacterial vaginosis at 19 weeks of gestation. Interventions Oral metronidazole (400 mg) or placebo twice daily for two days at 24 weeks of gestation, and at 29 weeks if G. vaginalis found in test-of-cure swab four weeks after treatment. Main outcome measures Spontaneous preterm birth less than 37 weeks. Results Intention-to-treat analysis showed no difference between metronidazole and placebo groups in overall preterm birth (31/429 [7.2%] vs 32/428 [7.5%]) or spontaneous preterm birth (20/429 [4.7%] vs 24/428 [5.6%]). Among the 480 women with bacterial vaginosis, treatment had no effect on spontaneous preterm birth (11/242 [4.5%] vs 15/238 [6.3%]). In the subset of 46 women with a previous preterm birth, women in the metronidazole group showed a significant reduction in spontaneous preterm birth (2/22 [9.1%] vs 10/24 [41.7%], OR 0.14, 95%CI 0.01–0.84). A treatment effect was also found in compliant women with a previous preterm birth and bacterial vaginosis (0/14 [0%] vs 6/17 [35.3%], OR 0.0,95%CI 0.0–0.94). Conclusion Metronidazole treatment of women with a heavy growth of G. vaginalis or bacterial vaginosis did not reduce the preterm birth rate. Among women with a previous preterm birth, treatment reduced the risk of spontaneous preterm birth. Further studies are required to confirm these findings.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1997|