Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Research Publications
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Does pelvic floor muscle maximum voluntary contraction improve after vaginal pelvic organ prolapse surgery? A prospective study
AIMS: to assess pelvic floor muscle maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) before and after surgical treatment for pelvic organ prolapse (POP). METHODS: This was a prospective observational study with women scheduled for surgical correction of POP. Assessments occurred 15 days before and 40 days after surgery. The primary outcome was pelvic floor muscle (PFM) MVC measured using the manometer Peritron™. The average strength of PFM contraction was also measured. Secondary outcomes were assessed using the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification (POP-Q) score. The Student paired t-test was used for quantitative data. For the pre and postsurgery comparisons of PFM strength in relation to POP-Q value we used the nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test for dependent variables. The level of significance adopted was P < 0.05. RESULTS: Sixty-seven women were recruited, 65 (97%) completed the study. The mean age of participants was 62 ± 10.2. There was no difference (1.9 cm H2 O ± 12.9; P = 0.22) between MVC before (27.1 cm H2 O ± 17.0) and after surgery (29 cm H2 O ± 17.8). The average contraction was higher after surgery (2.3 cmH2 O ± 8.6; P = 0.03). The higher the severity of pre and postsurgery POP, the worse the MVC. CONCLUSION: There was no difference in MVC pre and postsurgery, however we found an improvement in PFM average contraction strength postsurgery.
What is the real "price" of more prenatal screening and fewer diagnostic procedures? Costs and trade-offs in the genomic era
Any screening approach, including with cell-free DNA, will have an inferior detection rate compared with 100% diagnostic testing with chromosomal microarrays. Cell-free DNA-based screening, however, should not be seen as a threat to informed choice or maximising the benefits of diagnostic testing. Screening methods have become so much better that more women are now comfortable relying on such screening and do not need the certainty of a diagnostic test. This has not lead to a decline in detection of fetal chromosome abnormalities-in fact, we are now seeing historically high yields from prenatal screening. There are both economic and ethical consequences of offering universal diagnostic testing and abandoning the presumption of a normal infant in otherwise uncomplicated pregnancies. However, for some women, comprehensive information and diagnostic accuracy are important. Offering these women all options, with a careful and comprehensive explanation of the risks and benefits of each, results in outcomes that are best aligned with woman's preferences while at the same time requiring fewer diagnostic tests and lowering costs. It is one of the primary challenges of the modern era of prenatal testing to ensure that women receive sufficient information on which to make informed decisions.
Predictive validity of spontaneous early infant movement for later cerebral palsy: a systematic review
AIM: To systematically review the predictive validity of spontaneous early infant movements for later cerebral palsy (CP). METHOD: Cohort studies with published data to calculate predictive validity of early spontaneous movements for later CP were searched in four electronic databases: CINAHL, Embase, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO. RESULTS: Forty-seven studies met inclusion criteria. The Prechtl General Movements Assessment (GMA) during the fidgety period (10-20wks corrected age) had the strongest sensitivity: 97 per cent (95% confidence interval [CI] 93-99) and specificity: 89% (95% CI 83-93). The sensitivity and specificity of the Prechtl GMA during the writhing period (birth-6wks) was 93% (95% CI 86-96) and 59% (95% CI 45-71) respectively. Cramped-synchronized movements in the writhing period according to Prechtl had the best specificity (sensitivity: 70% [95% CI 54-82]; specificity: 97% [95% CI 74-100]). Hadders-Algra's method of assessing general movements had a pooled sensitivity and specificity of 89% (95% CI 66-97) and 81% (95% CI 64-91) respectively. Presence of asymmetric postures and movement quality/quantity were reported under the Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination, Hammersmith Neonatal Neurological Examination, and Movement Assessment of Infants but had weak associations with later CP. INTERPRETATION: Fidgety movements assessed by the Prechtl GMA have the strongest predictive validity for later CP, but cannot be considered in isolation because of the presence of false positive results. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Fidgety general movements (Prechtl) are most predictive for later cerebral palsy compared with other spontaneous movements. False positive results are high among all spontaneous movement assessments.
NOD-like receptor pyrin domain-containing-3 (NLRP3) regulates inflammation-induced pro-labor mediators in human myometrial cells
PROBLEM: Inflammation plays a major role in preterm birth. Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor pyrin domain-containing-3 (NLRP3) plays a role in inflammatory diseases. The aims of this study were to determine the effect of term labor on the expression of NLRP3 in human myometrium and the effect of NLRP3 silencing on pro-labor mediators in myometrial cells. METHOD OF STUDY: NLRP3 expression was assessed in myometrium from non-laboring and laboring women by qRT-PCR and Western blotting. Human primary myometrial cells were transfected with NLRP3 siRNA (siNLRP3), treated with pro-inflammatory cytokines and toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands, and assayed for pro-inflammatory mediators' expression. RESULTS: NLRP3 expression was higher in myometrium after term spontaneous labor and by TNF, IL1B, fsl-1, and flagellin. In siNLRP3-transfected cells, there was a significant decrease in the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL1A, IL6), chemokines (CXCL8, CCL2), and adhesion molecules (ICAM1 and VCAM1) stimulated with IL1B, TNF, or TLR ligands; decrease in IL1B-stimulated PTGS2 and PTGFR mRNA expression and PGF2α release; and increase in TNF-stimulated myometrial gel shrinkage as assessed by an in vitro cell contraction assay. CONCLUSION: NLRP3 is increased with labor in myometrial, and knockdown of NLRP3 is associated with an attenuation of inflammation-induced expression of pro-inflammatory and pro-labor mediators in human myometrium.
Audit of referrals for concern regarding labial appearance at the Royal Children's Hospital: 2000-2012
AIM: To audit the clinical features and outcomes for all patients referred to our centre with concerns regarding labial appearance. METHODS: Young females referred to a paediatric/adolescent gynaecology tertiary centre between 2000 and 2012 with concerns regarding their labial appearance were retrospectively identified. Adolescents presenting with anomalies were excluded. Retrospective chart review was undertaken to identify reasons for referral, patient characteristics, outcome of referral and concurrent health problems. RESULTS: In total, 46 females presenting with concerns about labial appearance were identified. Five were excluded. Median age of the study population was 14.5 years (range 5-21 years). Only four (9.8%) underwent surgery after a minimum of five consultations each, with mental health review in three of four cases prior to surgery. None of the 41 patients had documented abnormal labia; however, 6 patients had asymmetry, and 3 had a labial width of >5 cm. Of mothers, 24% (n = 10) raised the initial concern regarding labial appearance to a physician, of whom, 50% of patients had a comorbid condition. In total, 70.7% initially reported interference with daily activities, and 87.8% were reassured following discussion. CONCLUSIONS: With appropriate education and counselling, the majority of girls with concerns regarding labial appearance can be managed without surgery. Overall, our data support current international policy that female cosmetic genital surgery not be performed in mature minors unless there are specific indications. More research about characteristics of patients referred with labial concerns, definition of labial size and long-term satisfaction of conservative versus surgical methods is necessary to determine the best approach.
Sleep-disordered breathing in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: a BMI-matched study
Sleep-disordered breathing is more common in hypertensive disorders during pregnancy; however, most studies have not adequately accounted for the potential confounding impact of obesity. This study evaluated the frequency of sleep-disordered breathing in women with gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia compared with body mass index- and gestation-matched normotensive pregnant women. Women diagnosed with gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia underwent polysomnography shortly after diagnosis. Normotensive controls body mass index-matched within ±4 kg m-2 underwent polysomnography within ±4 weeks of gestational age of their matched case. The mean body mass index and gestational age at polysomnography were successfully matched for 40 women with gestational hypertension/pre-eclampsia and 40 controls. The frequency of sleep-disordered breathing in the cases was 52.5% compared with 37.5% in the control group (P = 0.18), and the respiratory disturbance index overall did not differ (P = 0.20). However, more severe sleep-disordered breathing was more than twice as common in women with gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia (35% versus 15%, P = 0.039). While more than half of women with a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy meet the clinical criteria for sleep-disordered breathing, it is also very common in normotensive women of similar body mass index. This underscores the importance of adjusting for obesity when exploring the relationship between sleep-disordered breathing and hypertension in pregnancy. More severe degrees of sleep-disordered breathing are significantly associated with gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia, and sleep-disordered breathing may plausibly play a role in the pathophysiology of pregnancy hypertension in these women. This suggests that more severe sleep-disordered breathing is a potential therapeutic target for reducing the prevalence or severity of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.
Prenatal diagnosis and socioeconomic status in the non-invasive prenatal testing era: A population-based study
BACKGROUND: Advances in technology can bring great benefits to human health, but their implementation may be influenced by socioeconomic factors, particularly in the field of prenatal screening for Down syndrome. AIM: To analyse screening test indications for, and diagnostic yield of, invasive prenatal diagnostic testing (PNDx) according to socioeconomic status. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of population-based data on PNDx and karyotype results for 2014-2015 in the Australian state of Victoria. Women having PNDx < 25 weeks due to combined first trimester screening (CFTS), second trimester serum screening (STSS), or noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) results were included. PNDx data were analysed by indication and maternal Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD), the latter determined by postcode. RESULTS: There were 145 206 births in 2014-2015; 1906 women underwent PNDx for the indication of CFTS (70.1%), NIPT (17.8%) or STSS (12.0%). Covariates positively associated with NIPT-indicated PNDx, compared with CFTS-indicated testing, were residence in a region of socioeconomic advantage, metropolitan status and maternal age. Women from the most advantaged regions had higher adjusted odds ratios (aOR) of NIPT-indicated testing compared with women from disadvantaged regions (aOR 5.72, 95% CI: 2.95-11.09). The diagnostic yield of PNDx increased with socioeconomic region, from 14% in the lowest IRSAD quintile to 31.2% in the highest (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Population-based data reveal significant disparities in screening indications for PNDx and hence, in diagnostic yield, according to socioeconomic region. This finding may have ethical and policy implications for prenatal screening in Australia.
Laparoscopic transabdominal cerclage: Outcomes of 121 pregnancies
BACKGROUND: Cervical insufficiency is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Cervical cerclage is one option in the management of cervical insufficiency. AIM: To evaluate obstetric outcomes following insertion of a pre-pregnancy laparoscopic transabdominal cerclage in women at high risk for pre-term labour and/or mid-trimester pregnancy loss. METHODS: A prospective observational study of consecutive women who underwent laparoscopic transabdominal cerclage from 2007 to 2017. Eligible women had a diagnosis of cervical insufficiency based on previous obstetric history and/or a short or absent cervix and were considered not suitable for a transvaginal cerclage. The primary outcome was neonatal survival and the secondary outcome was delivery of an infant at ≥34 weeks gestation. Surgical morbidity and complications were also evaluated. RESULTS: During the study period, 225 women underwent laparoscopic transabdominal cerclage. We present the outcomes of 121 pregnancies resulting in 125 babies. The perinatal survival rate of viable pregnancies was 98.5% with a mean gestational age at delivery of 35.2 weeks; 79.7% of babies were delivered at ≥34.0 weeks gestation. CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic transabdominal cerclage is a safe and effective procedure resulting in favourable obstetric outcomes in women with a poor obstetric history. For optimal success the procedure requires the correct surgical expertise, equipment and appropriate patient selection.
Delayed myelination and neurodevelopment in male seizure-prone versus seizure-resistant rats
OBJECTIVE: Aberrant myelination and developmental delay have been reported in epilepsy. However, it is unclear whether these are linked to intrinsic mechanisms that support a predisposition toward seizures and the development of epilepsy. Thus, we compared rates of myelination and neurodevelopment in male rats selectively bred for enhanced susceptibility to kindling epileptogenesis (FAST) with male rats bred for resistance (SLOW). METHODS: Myelin-specific gene expression was compared in the brainstem, cerebellum, and cerebral hemisphere of FAST and SLOW rats on postnatal days (PNDs) 5, 11, 17, 23, and 90 to determine strain-specific myelination rates. Myelin protein levels were also compared at PNDs 5 and 23 in the brainstem. Relative rates of neurodevelopment were evaluated between PNDs 5 and 21 using physical growth landmarks and neuromotor tests including righting reflex, cliff avoidance, negative geotaxis, and locomotor activity. RESULTS: Myelin-specific mRNA expression was significantly down-regulated in FAST rats on PNDs 5 and 11 in all 3 brain structures, indicating relatively delayed myelination. Likewise, corresponding protein levels were significantly lower in FAST brainstem on PND 5. Developmental delay was evident in the FAST strain such that only 9% of FAST pups, compared to 81% of SLOW, had open eyes by PND 13, locomotor activity was significantly reduced between PNDs 12 and 16, and neuromotor task acquisition was delayed between PNDs 5 and 10. SIGNIFICANCE: Relative delays in myelination and neurodevelopment co-occurred in the seizure-prone FAST strain in the absence of seizures. These findings suggest these symptoms are not seizure-induced and may be mechanistically linked to an underlying pathophysiology supporting a predisposition toward developing epilepsy.