Despite major advances in neonatal care, the burden of preterm birth remains high. This is not unexpected since strategies to identify and treat risk factors in early pregnancy have not been very effective in reducing the preterm birth rate. Initial studies suggested a potential benefit for 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-OHPC) in decreasing the risk of recurrent preterm birth women with a singleton gestation. However, the use of 17-OHPC has not conferred benefit for other categories of women at high risk for preterm delivery (twins, triplets, and short cervical length). The increasing body of evidence suggests that preterm birth is a complex condition with variable mechanisms of disease and significant individual heterogeneity. This review will examine the plausibility of 17-OHPC in preventing preterm birth and the investigation of its clinical efficacy. We will also highlight factors to explain variations in clinical trial outcomes and outline the trajectory needed for future investigations.
- 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate
- Preterm birth
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health