Maternal serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels and successful labor induction

James Maciulla, Lynn Goolsby, Catherine Racowsky, Kathryn Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective To evaluate the maternal serum dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) sulfate level as a factor associated with the outcome of labor induction. Methods Venous blood was collected from 161 women at the initiation of labor induction. Pregnancies complicated by maternal corticosteroid use, antepartum chorioamnionitis, or cesarean delivery for indications other than arrest disorders were excluded from analysis. In 155 women meeting inclusion criteria, induction followed established protocols. Serum DHEA sulfate levels were measured by radioimmunoassay and correlated with the outcome of each induction attempt. A success was defined as progression to active labor. The Welch approximate t test, Mann-Whitney test, Fisher exact test, simple regression, and multiple regression were used for statistical analysis, with P < .05 considered significant. Results The mean (± standard error) DHEA sulfate level was higher in women who progressed to active labor (n = 147) than in those with unsuccessful attempts (n = 8), (109.01 ± 5.19 μ/dL versus 58.78 ± 15.83 μ/dL, respectively; P = .02). Compared with women with DHEA sulfate levels above 70 μ/dL, women with lower levels had an unsuccessful induction odds ratio (OR) of 4.46 (95% confidence interval, 1.12, 17.67; P = .04). The OR increased as DHEA sulfate levels decreased. Conclusion Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate may be an important factor in successful labor induction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-773
Number of pages3
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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