Obstetrics & Gynaecology - Journal articles

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    Discharge age and weight for very preterm infants in six countries: 2012-2020
    (Karger International, 2023-01) Edwards, Erika M.; Greenberg, Lucy T.; Horbar, Jeffrey D.; Gagliardi, Luigi; Adams, Mark; Berger, Angelika; Leitao, Sara; Luyt, Karen; Ehret, Danielle E. Y.; Rogowski, Jeannette A.
    Postmenstrual age for surviving infants without congenital anomalies born at 24-29 weeks' gestational age from 2005 to 2018 in the USA increased 8 days, discharge weight increased 316 grams, and median discharge weight z-score increased 0.19 standard units. We asked whether increases were observed in other countries. We evaluated postmenstrual age, weight, and weight z-score at discharge of surviving infants without congenital anomalies born at 24-29 weeks' gestational age admitted to Vermont Oxford Network member hospitals in Austria, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA from 2012 to 2020. After adjustment, the median postmenstrual age at discharge increased significantly in Austria (3.6 days, 99% CI [1.0, 6.3]), Italy (4.0 days [2.3, 5.6]), and the USA (5.4 days [5.0, 5.8]). Median discharge weight increased significantly in Austria (181 grams, 99% CI [95, 267]), Ireland (234 [143, 325]), Italy (133 [83, 182]), and the USA (207 [194, 220]). Median discharge weight z-score increased in Ireland (0.24 standard units, 99% CI [0.12, 0.36]) and the USA (0.15 [0.13, 0.16]). Discharge on human milk increased in Italy, Switzerland, and the UK, while going home on cardiorespiratory monitors decreased in Austria, Ireland, and USA and going home on oxygen decreased in Ireland. In this international cohort of neonatal intensive care units, postmenstrual discharge age and weight increased in some, but not all, countries. Processes of care at discharge did not change in conjunction with age and weight increases.
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    Challenges of developing robust AI for intrapartum fetal heart rate monitoring
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-10-26) O'Sullivan, Mark E.; Considine, Elizabeth C.; O'Riordan, Mairead; Marnane, William P.; Rennie, J. M.; Boylan, Geraldine B.; Science Foundation Ireland
    Background: CTG remains the only non-invasive tool available to the maternity team for continuous monitoring of fetal well-being during labour. Despite widespread use and investment in staff training, difficulty with CTG interpretation continues to be identified as a problem in cases of fetal hypoxia, which often results in permanent brain injury. Given the recent advances in AI, it is hoped that its application to CTG will offer a better, less subjective and more reliable method of CTG interpretation. Objectives: This mini-review examines the literature and discusses the impediments to the success of AI application to CTG thus far. Prior randomised control trials (RCTs) of CTG decision support systems are reviewed from technical and clinical perspectives. A selection of novel engineering approaches, not yet validated in RCTs, are also reviewed. The review presents the key challenges that need to be addressed in order to develop a robust AI tool to identify fetal distress in a timely manner so that appropriate intervention can be made. Results: The decision support systems used in three RCTs were reviewed, summarising the algorithms, the outcomes of the trials and the limitations. Preliminary work suggests that the inclusion of clinical data can improve the performance of AI-assisted CTG. Combined with newer approaches to the classification of traces, this offers promise for rewarding future development.
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    Puberty timing and markers of cardiovascular structure and function at 25 years: a prospective cohort study
    (BioMed Central, 2021-03) Maher, Gillian M.; Ryan, Lisa; McCarthy, Fergus P.; Hughes, Alun; Park, Chloe; Fraser, Abigail; Howe, Laura D.; Kearney, Patricia M.; O'Keeffe, Linda M.; Medical Research Council; Wellcome; University of Bristol; British Heart Foundation; Health Research Board
    Background: Whether earlier onset of puberty is associated with higher cardiovascular risk in early adulthood is not well understood. Our objective was to examine the association between puberty timing and markers of cardiovascular structure and function at age 25 years. Methods: We conducted a prospective birth cohort study using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Participants were born between April 1, 1991, and December 31, 1992. Exposure of interest was age at peak height velocity (aPHV), an objective and validated growth-based measure of puberty onset. Outcome measures included cardiovascular structure and function at age 25 years: carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and relative wall thickness (RWT), pulse wave velocity (PWV) and systolic blood pressure (SBP). Multiple imputation was used to impute missing data on covariates and outcomes. Linear regression was used to examine the association between aPHV and each measure of cardiac structure and function, adjusting for maternal age, gestational age, household social class, maternal education, mother's partner's education, breastfeeding, parity, birthweight, maternal body mass index, maternal marital status, maternal prenatal smoking status and height and fat mass at age 9. All analyses were stratified by sex. Results: A total of 2752-4571 participants were included in the imputed analyses. A 1-year older aPHV was not strongly associated with markers of cardiac structure and function in males and females at 25 years and most results spanned the null value. In adjusted analyses, a 1-year older aPHV was associated with 0.003 mm (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.00001, 0.006) and 0.0008 mm (95% CI - 0.002, 0.003) higher CIMT; 0.02 m/s (95% CI - 0.05, 0.09) and 0.02 m/s (95% CI - 0.04, 0.09) higher PWV; and 0.003 mmHg (95% CI - 0.60, 0.60) and 0.13 mmHg (95% CI - 0.44, 0.70) higher SBP, among males and females, respectively. A 1-year older aPHV was associated with - 0.55 g/m(2.7) (95% CI - 0.03, - 1.08) and - 0.89 g/m(2.7) (95% CI - 0.45, - 1.34) lower LVMI and - 0.001 (95% CI - 0.006, 0.002) and - 0.002 (95% CI - 0.006, 0.002) lower RWT among males and females. Conclusions: Earlier puberty is unlikely to have a major impact on pre-clinical cardiovascular risk in early adulthood.
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    Predicting risk of postpartum haemorrhage during the intrapartum period in a general obstetric population
    (Elsevier B. V., 2022-09) Maher, Gillian M.; McKernan, Joye; O'Byrne, Laura; Corcoran, Paul; Greene, Richard A.; Khashan, Ali S.; McCarthy, Fergus P.; Health Research Board
    Objective: To develop and validate (both internally and externally) a prediction model examining a combination of risk factors in order to predict postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) in a general obstetric Irish population of singleton pregnancies. Study design: We used data from the National Maternal and Newborn Clinical Management System (MN-CMS), including all singleton deliveries at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), Ireland during 2019. We defined PPH as an estimated blood loss of = 1000 ml following the birth of the baby. Multivariable logistic regression with backward stepwise selection was used to develop the prediction model. Candidate predictors included maternal age, maternal body mass index, parity, previous caesarean section, assisted fertility, gestational age, fetal macrosomia, mode of delivery and history of PPH. Discrimination was assessed using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) C-statistic. We used bootstrapping for internal validation to assess overfitting, and conducted a temporal external validation using data from all singleton deliveries at CUMH during 2020. Results: Out of 6,077 women, 5,807 with complete data were included in the analyses, and there were 270 (4.65%) cases of PPH. Four variables were considered the best combined predictors of PPH, including parity (specifically nulliparous), macrosomia, mode of delivery (specifically operative vaginal delivery, emergency caesarean section and prelabour caesarean section), and history of PPH. These predictors were used to develop a nomogram to provide individualised risk assessment for PPH. The original apparent C-statistic was 0.751 (95% CI: 0.721, 0.779) suggesting good discriminative performance. There was minimal optimism adjustment to the C-statistic after bootstrapping, indicating good internal performance (optimism adjusted C-statistic: 0.748). Results of external validation were comparable with the development model suggesting good reproducibility. Conclusions: Four routinely collected variables (parity, fetal macrosomia, mode of delivery and history of PPH) were identified when predicting PPH in a general obstetric Irish population of singleton pregnancies. Use of our nomogram could potentially assist with individualised risk assessment of PPH and inform clinical decision-making allowing those at highest risk of PPH be actively managed.
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    Periconceptual and prenatal alcohol consumption and neurodevelopment at age two and five years
    (Elsevier, 2022-05-31) Maher, Gillian M.; Khashan, Ali S.; O'Byrne, Laura; Flanagan, Sinead; Mortimer, Roisin .M.; Kiely Mairead; Hourihane, Jonathan O'B.; Kenny, Louise C.; Murray, Deirdre M.; McCarthy, Fergus P.; Health Research Board; National Children's Research Centre
    Objective: Examine the association between alcohol consumption before and during pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes in the offspring at two and five years. Study design: Retrospective analysis of a prospective longitudinal cohort; SCOPE-BASELINE. Data on pre-conception and prenatal alcohol consumption were obtained at 15 weeks’ gestation and categorised as abstinent, occasional-low (1-7units/week) and moderate-heavy (≥8units/week). Binge drinking was defined as ≥6 units/session. Outcome measures (Child Behaviour Checklist and Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test) were obtained at two and five years. Linear regression examined an alcohol consumption and Child Behaviour Checklist and Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test relationship, adjusting for several potential confounders. Results: Data on alcohol consumption was available for 1,507 women. Adjusted linear regression suggested few associations: pre-pregnancy occasional-low alcohol consumption was associated with lower log externalizing Child Behaviour Checklist scores (-0.264, 95% CI: −0.009, −0.520), while pre-pregnancy moderate-high levels of alcohol consumption was associated with lower Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test verbal standard scores (-0.034, 95% CI: −0.001, −0.068) and composite IQ scores (-0.028, 95% CI: −0.056, −0.0004) at five-years. In the first trimester, moderate-high levels of alcohol consumption was associated with lower internalizing Child Behaviour Checklist scores at two-years (-0.252, 95% CI: −0.074, −0.430). No significant associations were observed between number of binge episodes pre-pregnancy or binge drinking in the first trimester and Child Behaviour Checklist or Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. Conclusions: We did not find strong evidence of associations between pre-pregnancy and early pregnancy maternal alcohol consumption and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes at age two and five years overall. Further research examining alcohol consumption (including binge drinking) beyond 15 weeks’ gestation and subsequent neurodevelopmental outcomes is needed to examine the potential effect of alcohol consumption in later pregnancy.