Investigation of metronidazole use during pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes

Catherine A. Koss, Dana C. Baras, Sandra D. Lane, Richard Aubry, Michele Marcus, Lauri E. Markowitz, Emilia H. Koumans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


To assess whether treatment with metronidazole during pregnancy is associated with preterm birth, low birth weight, or major congenital anomalies, we conducted chart reviews and an analysis of electronic data from a cohort of women delivering at an urban New York State hospital. Of 2,829 singleton/mother pairs, 922 (32.6%) mothers were treated with metronidazole for clinical indications, 348 (12.3%) during the first trimester of pregnancy and 553 (19.5%) in the second or third trimester. There were 333 (11.8%) preterm births, 262 (9.3%) infants of low birth weight, and 52 infants (1.8%) with congenital anomalies. In multi-variable analysis, no association was found between metronidazole treatment and preterm birth (odds ratio [OR], 1.02 [95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80 to 1.32]), low birth weight (OR, 1.05 [95% CI, 0.77 to 1.43]), or treatment in the first trimester and congenital anomalies (OR, 0.86 [0.30 to 2.45]). We found no association between metronidazole treatment during the first or later trimesters of pregnancy and preterm birth, low birth weight, or congenital anomalies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4800-4805
Number of pages6
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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