An adequate trial of labor preceding cesarean delivery for arrest of cervical dilatation in the active phase of labor has not been defined precisely. We reviewed the records of 85 consecutive women at term who received oxytocin for induction or augmentation of labor and who subsequently delivered by cesarean for arrest of labor in the active phase. The mean duration of oxytocin infusion was 15 hours for induction of labor and 8.9 hours for augmentation. Thirty-four (92%) of the 37 women who received oxytocin induction and 44 (92%) of the 48 who had oxytocin for augmentation achieved at least 200 Montevideo units of uterine pressure. All 85 newborns were vigorous at birth and had no complications during their stay in the hospital nursery. Evaluation of uterine contraction pressure can provide a quantifiable end point for the management of oxytocin induction or augmentation of labor. © 1991 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.