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Abstract

Background

Preterm birth is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality. Preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (pPROM) occurs in 30% of preterm births; thus, this complication is a major contributor to maternal and neonatal morbidity. However, the cellular immune responses in amniotic fluid of women with pPROM have not been investigated.

Methods

Amniotic fluid samples were obtained from women with pPROM and a positive (n = 7) or negative (n = 10) microbiological culture. Flow cytometry was performed to evaluate the phenotype and number of amniotic fluid leukocytes. The correlation between amniotic fluid immune cells and an interleukin-6 (IL-6) concentration or a white blood cell (WBC) count in amniotic fluid was calculated.

Results

Women with pPROM and a positive amniotic fluid culture had (1) a greater number of total leukocytes in amniotic fluid, including neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages and (2) an increased number of total T cells in amniotic fluid, namely CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells, but not B cells. The numbers of neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages were positively correlated with IL-6 concentrations and WBC counts in amniotic fluid of women with pPROM.

Conclusion

Women with pPROM and a positive amniotic fluid culture exhibit a more severe cellular immune response than those with a negative culture, which is associated with well-known markers of intra-amniotic inflammation.

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to compare Philips and TomTec two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (2D-STE) software measurements of strain and dyssynchrony values in healthy fetuses.

Methods

This was an explorative observational study in which the echocardiographic data of 93 healthy fetuses between the 20th and 38th week of gestation were determined from a four-chamber view using 2D speckle tracking. The global and segmental longitudinal strain values of both ventricles, inter-ventricular and left intra-ventricular dyssynchrony were analyzed using QLab version 10.8 (Philips Medical Systems, Andover, MA, USA) and TomTec-Arena version 2.30 (TomTec, Unterschleißheim, Germany).

Results

TomTec showed persistently lower values for all of the assessed strain and dyssynchrony variables. For all variables, the bias between vendors tended to increase with gestational age, though not to a significant extent. Left ventricular dyssynchrony and longitudinal strain within the mid segment of the septum correlated best between vendors; however, the limits of agreement were wide in both cases. None of the variables assessed in the two-chamber view compared well between QLAB and TomTec.

Conclusion

Speckle tracking software cannot be used interchangeably between vendors. Further investigations are necessary to standardize fetal 2D-STE.

Abstract

Background

The aim of this systematic review was to describe the effects of drug exposure during pregnancy on fetal cardiac function.

Methods

We searched MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane and SCOPUS for studies assessing fetal cardiac function in drug-exposed human pregnancies. Risk of bias was assessed by the Risk Of Bias In Non-randomized Studies of Interventions (ROBIN-I) tool.

Results

We included 32 studies on eight different drug groups. They included 51 outcome variables, which were all based on ultrasound techniques primarily assessing systolic function: pulsed wave Doppler, tissue Doppler imaging (TDI), and B- and M-mode. Overall, the risk of bias was moderate. β2 agonists increased the systolic velocity in the ductus arteriosus and the fetal heart rate. β-blockers caused unchanged or decreased systolic velocity of the pulmonary trunk. Corticosteroids increased the velocity in the ductus arteriosus. Furthermore, in growth-restricted fetuses with an increased myocardial performance index (MPI′) on the right side, corticosteroids normalized this variable. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but not acetylsalicylic acid, increased the flow velocities in the ductus arteriosus, decreased the shortening fraction and increased the end-diastolic ventricular diameters. Metformin and insulin normalized the diastolic strain and global longitudinal strain in diabetic pregnancies. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) exposure increased the E/A ratio on the right side, prolonged the isovolumic relaxation time (IRT) and ejection time, shortened the isovolumic contraction time (ICT), and decreased left myocardial systolic peak velocities. Chemotherapy did not cause detectable changes.

Conclusion

Six of the eight drug groups caused detectable changes in fetal cardiac function. However, the evidence was hampered by only a few studies for some drugs.

Abstract

Background

We aimed to evaluate the efficiency of placental elasticity in predicting the amount of intraoperative bleeding via real-time tissue elastography technique.

Methods

Pregnant women in the third trimester of pregnancy who had planned delivery via cesarean section due to the recurrent cesareans were enrolled in the research (n = 78). Elastographic measurements of placental tissues of all cases were carried out by real-time elastographic ultrasonography. It is a tissue elastography software (Esaote MyLabSeven) that uses a 8-1-MHz multifrequency AC2541 Probe.

Results

A significant relationship was found between placental elasticity and intraoperative bleeding. There was a significant correlation between alterations in the preoperative and postoperative hemoglobin (Hb) and hematocrit (Hct) levels and placental strain ratio (SR) (P < 0.001, r: 0.831; P < 0.001, r: 0.733, respectively).

Conclusion

These findings may reflect an alteration at the tissue elasticity level. We hope that the use of real-time elastographic ultrasonography technique may give an idea about the amount of bleeding during the cesarean section.

Abstract

Objective

To examine cerebral oxygenation and perfusion in small for gestational age (SGA) compared with appropriate for gestational age (AGA) neonates during the first postnatal week, and to investigate any association with neurodevelopmental outcomes at 24–36 months of age.

Methods

A prospective matched case-control study was conducted evaluating cerebral oxygenation and perfusion, using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), between SGA and AGA neonates, during the first postnatal week. A neurodevelopmental assessment with Bayley-III was performed at 24–36 months of age.

Results

Forty-eight SGA and 48 AGA neonates of similar gestation (32.8 ± 2.1 vs. 32.5 ± 1.9) were enrolled. On the first postnatal day, the cerebral oxygenation was equal between SGA and AGA neonates (71 ± 7% vs. 72 ± 8%); however, in the subgroup analysis, males had higher oxygenation compared to female SGA neonates (73 ± 7% vs. 69 ± 7%, P = 0.04). Cerebral perfusion was significantly higher in SGA neonates on the first postnatal day (1.4 ± 0.6 vs. 1.1 ± 0.5, P = 0.04), but this difference was diminished on subsequent measurements. There were no significant differences between the SGA and AGA infants regarding the composite cognitive, communication and motor index scores. The length of mechanical ventilation and late-onset sepsis were significant risk factors affecting the cognitive and communication composite index scores, respectively.

Conclusion

Cerebral oxygenation was equal between SGA and AGA neonates, while cerebral perfusion was transiently increased in SGA neonates during the first postnatal day. There was no significant association of cerebral oxygenation and perfusion with neurodevelopmental outcomes.

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Abstract

Objective

To compare the endocrine cord blood characteristics of offspring from obese mothers with those of offspring from healthy controls.

Methods

Cross-sectional case control study. Setting: University medical centers. Patient(s): Offspring from obese mothers (n = 41) and healthy controls (n = 31). Intervention(s): Cord blood withdrawal from neonates. Main outcome measure(s): Cord blood total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TGs), high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), blood glucose (GL) and insulin (Ins).

Result(s)

Fetal GL and TGs were reduced in the offspring of obese women when compared to those in the offspring of the controls. The mean cord blood GL level was 47.8 mg/dL standard deviation (SD 33.1) in the offspring of the obese group vs. 57.9 mg/dL (SD 12.5) in the offspring of the control group, and the mean cord blood TG level was 26.5 (SD 33.6) in the offspring of the obese group vs. 34.6 (SD 12.3) in the offspring of the control group. Maternal obesity was also associated with reduced levels of TC and HDL-C in the pregnant women.

Conclusion

The observed results suggest that GL and TGs in the cord blood of the offspring of obese mothers were significantly lower than those in the offspring of the control group.

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to assess the normal values of the Smith-Madigan inotropy index (SMII) and oxygen delivery index (DO2I) in low-birth-weight (LBW) and very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) newborns on the first 3 days of life, and to identify how different degrees of maturity influence cardiovascular alterations during the transitional period compared with term neonates.

Methods

Twenty-eight VLBW newborns, 46 LBW newborns and 50 normal full-term newborns admitted to our department were studied. Hemodynamics of the left heart were measured in all neonates over the first 3 days using the Ultrasonic Cardiac Output Monitor (USCOM). This was combined with hemoglobin concentration and pulse oximetry to calculate DO2I. Blood pressure was combined with the hemodynamic measures and hemoglobin concentration to calculate SMII.

Results

SMII showed statistically significant differences among the three groups (VLBW 0.48 ± 0.11; LBW 0.54 ± 0.13; term 0.69 ± 0.17 W/m2 P < 0.001), which was in line with the following myocardial parameters: stroke volume index (SVI) and cardiac index (CI) (P < 0.001 and <0.001). For systemic oxygen delivery (DO2) parameters, significant differences were found for DO2I (P < 0.001) while hemoglobin concentration and pulse oximetry demonstrated no significant differences. In the VLBW group, SMII and DO2I showed no significant change over the 3 days.

Conclusion

Normal inotropy and systemic DO2I values in VLBW neonates over the first 3 days of life were assessed. SMII and DO2I were significantly lower in VLBW neonates during the first 72 h of life. With increasing birth weight, higher myocardial inotropy and DO2 were found. The addition of USCOM examination to standard neonatal echocardiography may provide further important information regarding cardiac function.

Abstract

There is a broad range in the rates of operative vaginal deliveries (OVD) worldwide, which reflects the variety of local practice patterns, the number of trained clinicians and the lack of international evidence-based guidelines. The aim of this study was to review and compare the recommendations from published guidelines on OVD. Thus, a descriptive review of guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) on instrumental vaginal birth was conducted. All the guidelines point out that the use of any instrument should be based on the clinical circumstances and the experience of the operator. The indications, the contraindications, the prerequisites and the classification for OVD are overall very similar in the reviewed guidelines. Further, they all agree that episiotomy should not be performed routinely. The RCOG, the RANZCOG and the SOGC describe some interventions which may promote spontaneous vaginal birth and therefore reduce the need for OVD. They also highlight the importance of adequate postnatal care and counseling. There is no consensus on the actual technique that should be used, including the type of forceps or vacuum cup, the force and duration of traction or the number of detachments allowed. Hence, there is need for international practice protocols, so as to encourage the clinicians to use OVD when indicated, minimize the complications and reduce rates of cesarean delivery.

Abstract

Background

Little is known about the impact of peptic ulcer disease (PUD) on pregnancy. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of PUD on pregnancy and newborn outcomes.

Methods

A retrospective cohort study was carried out using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)-National Inpatient Sample (NIS) from the United States. The cohort consisted of all births that took place from 1999 to 2015. PUD was classified on the basis of the International Classification of Diseases-Ninth Revision (ICD-9) coding. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate the adjusted effect of PUD on maternal and neonatal outcomes.

Results

Of the 13,792,544 births in this cohort, 1005 were to women with PUD (7/100,000 births). Between 1999 and 2015, prevalence of PUD in pregnancy increased from 4/100,000 to 11/100,000, respectively. Women with PUD were more commonly older and more likely to have comorbid illnesses. Women with PUD were at greater risk of preeclampsia [odds ratio (OR) 2.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.67–2.66], preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM; OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.30–3.59), cesarean delivery (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.40–1.82), venous thromboembolism (OR 3.77, 95% CI 2.08–6.85) and maternal death (OR 24.50, 95% CI 10.12–59.32). Births to women with PUD were at increased risk of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR; OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.11–2.14), preterm birth (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.54–2.21), intrauterine fetal death (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.35–3.52) and congenital anomalies (OR 2.69, 95% CI 1.59–4.56).

Conclusion

The prevalence of PUD in pregnancy has risen over the last several years. PUD in pregnancy should be considered a high-risk condition associated with important adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes.