Date of Award

5-8-1973

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Dr. Orzalesi

Abstract

[From the Introduction] In order to insure the health and well-being of both mother and infant during parturition, circumstances often compel the obstetric practitioner to seek some means of either accelerating or even inducing labor. Consequently, numerous methods and medicaments have been employed to this end over the course of medical history. Within the last century, obstetrical practice has developed the relatively safe and effective use of oxytocin, a hormone elaborated by the pituitary and released during parturition, which only lately has begun to reveal its natural function. Within the past decade, however, progress in experimental technique has allowed both laboratory and clinical investigators to examine a new class of bioactive substances, the prostaglandins. Early observations in reproductive physiology have subsequently led investigators to explore the possible advantages that these hormone-like substances might enjoy over oxytocin in inducing labor. Accordingly, since the administration of any drug to a pregnant woman raises the question of possible harm to her fetus, the application of prostaglandins to the induction of labor has made essential a detailed evaluation of the potential toxic effects of these drugs on the fetus and newborn infant. This study intends to explore such possibilities and to enumerate the effects on the neonate of one prostaglandin, prostaglandin F2α.

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