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Concept: Fundal height

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Unexplained intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) may be a consequence of placental insufficiency; however, its etiology is not fully understood. We surmised that defective placentation in IUGR dysregulates cellular bioenergic homeostasis, leading to increased autophagy in the villous trophoblast. The aims of this work were (1) to compare the differences in autophagy, p53 expression, and apoptosis between placentas of women with normal or IUGR pregnancies; (2) to study the effects of hypoxia and the role of p53 in regulating trophoblast autophagy; and (3) to investigate the relationship between autophagy and apoptosis in hypoxic trophoblasts.

Concepts: Fundal height, Cancer, Obstetrics, Transcription factor, P53, Programmed cell death, Placenta, Apoptosis

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Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) results from a lack of nutrients transferred to the developing fetus, particularly oxygen and glucose. Increased expression of the cytoprotective mitochondrial peptide, humanin (HN), and the glucose transporter 8, GLUT8, has been reported under conditions of hypoxic stress. However, the presence and cellular localization of HN and GLUT8 in IUGR-related placental pathology remain unexplored. Thus, we undertook this study to investigate placental expression of HN and GLUT8 in IUGR-affected versus normal pregnancies.

Concepts: Adenosine triphosphate, Cellular respiration, Fundal height, Embryo, Obstetrics, Pregnancy, Uterus, Fetus

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Administration of conventional antithrombotic treatment (low-dose aspirin plus low-molecular weight heparin [LDA+LMWH]) for obstetric antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) does not prevent life-threatening placenta insufficiency-associated complications such as preeclampsia (PE) and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) in 20% of patients. Statins have been linked to improved pregnancy outcomes in mouse models of PE and APS, possibly due to their protective effects on endothelium. Here, we investigated the use of pravastatin in LDA+LMWH-refractory APS in patients at an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Concepts: Fundal height, Fetus, Pre-eclampsia, Antiphospholipid syndrome, Pregnancy, Low molecular weight heparin, Childbirth, Obstetrics

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The objective of the Prospective Observational Trial to Optimize Pediatric Health in Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) (PORTO Study), a national prospective observational multicenter study, was to evaluate which sonographic findings were associated with perinatal morbidity and mortality in pregnancies affected by growth restriction, originally defined as estimated fetal weight (EFW) <10th centile.

Concepts: Infant, Fundal height, Embryo, Fetus, Uterus, Pediatrics, Pregnancy, Obstetrics

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BACKGROUND: There has been limited research addressing whether behavioural change in relation to alcohol exposure in pregnancy results in better perinatal outcomes. METHODS: A cohort study of 6725 women who booked for antenatal care and delivered in a large urban teaching hospital in 2010–2011. A detailed history of alcohol consumption pre-pregnancy and during early pregnancy was recorded at the first antenatal visit with follow-up of the mother and infant until discharge following birth. Adverse perinatal outcomes were compared for ‘non-drinkers’, ‘ex-drinkers’ and ‘current drinkers’. RESULTS: Of the 6017 (90%) women who reported alcohol consumption prior to pregnancy 3325 (55%) engaged in binge drinking and 266 (4.4%) consumed more than 14 units on average per week. At the time of booking 5649 (94%) women were ex-drinkers and of the 368 women who continued to drink 338 (92%) had a low intake (0–5 units per week), 30 (8%) an excess intake (6-20+ units per week) and 93 (25%) reported at least one episode of binge drinking. Factors associated with continuing to drink in early pregnancy included older maternal age (30–39 years), (OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.3 to 1.8), Irish nationality (OR 3.1; 95% CI 2.2 to 4.3) and smoking (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.9 to 3.5). Ex-drinkers had similar perinatal outcomes to non-drinkers. Compared to non-drinkers current drinking was associated with an increased risk of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) (13% versus 19%, crude OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.1 to 2.2, adjusted OR 1.2; 95% CI 0.8 to 1.8). The greatest risk of IUGR was among women who continued to both drink and smoke, (9% versus 32%, crude OR 4.8; 95% CI 3.3 to 7.0, adjusted OR 4.5; 95% CI 3.1 to 6.7). CONCLUSIONS: Public Health campaigns need to emphasise the potential health gains of abstaining from both alcohol and smoking in pregnancy.

Concepts: Gestational age, Fundal height, Beer, Alcoholism, Drinking culture, Childbirth, Pregnancy, Obstetrics

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Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) is a serious and prevalent pregnancy complication that is due to placental insufficiency and IUGR babies suffer significantly higher risks of mortality and morbidity. Current detection rate for IUGR is generally poor and thus an alternative diagnostic tool is needed to improve the IUGR detection. Elastography, a non-invasive method that measures the tissue stiffness, has been proposed as one such technique. However, to date, we have limited information on the mechanical properties of IUGR placenta. In this study, we investigated the mechanical properties of normal and IUGR placentae and prescribed a suitable hyperelastic model to describe their mechanical behaviors. A total of 46 normal and 43 IUGR placenta samples were investigated. Results showed that placenta samples were isotropic, but had a high spatial variability of stiffness. The samples also had significant viscoelasticity. IUGR placenta was observed to be slightly stiffer than normal placenta but the difference was significant only at compression rate of 0.25 Hz and with 20% compression depth. Three simple hyperelastic models-Yeoh, Ogden and Fung models, were found to be able to fit the experimentally measured mechanical behaviors, and Fung model performed slightly better. These results may be useful for optimizing placenta elastography for the detection of IUGR.

Concepts: Small for gestational age, Fundal height, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Fetus, Childbirth, Placenta, Pregnancy

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To evaluate the perinatal effects of a prenatal therapy based on intra-amniotic nutritional supplementation in a rabbit model of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).

Concepts: Fertility, Gestational age, Fundal height, Obstetrics, Embryo, Fetus, Uterus, Pregnancy

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Altered function of maternal platelets has been evidenced in intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) but intraplatelet burden of trace elements, factors known to affect platelet activity, remains unknown in IUGR pregnancy. This study assessed the intraplatelet status of Ca, Cu, Mg, Na, K, P, Zn and their ratios (Ca/P, Ca/Mg, Na/K, Cu/Zn) in IUGR pregnancy (n = 35), uncomplicated pregnancy (n = 25) and in non-pregnant females (n = 25). The IUGR group was characterized by the lowest content of Ca, Mg and Zn, and Ca/P ratio (<1.0), and the highest Ca/Mg and Cu/Zn ratios. The studied parameters in non-pregnant women and in uncomplicated pregnancy were comparable except P content and Ca/Mg ratio which were significantly lower in the former group. No differences in Na and K contents, and Na/K ratio between studied groups were found. This study reports that maternal intraplatelet status of selected minerals may be altered in IUGR.

Concepts: Proportionality, Ratio, Fundal height, Obstetrics

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In this study, we evaluated the placental elasticity in vivo by shear-wave elastography in pregnant women under follow-up for intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and compared the elasticity values to normal pregnancies.

Concepts: Fundal height, Uterus, Pregnancy, Obstetrics, Childbirth