• Antenatal interventions for preventing the transmission of cytomegalovirus (CMV) from the mother to fetus during pregnancy and adverse outcomes in the congenitally infected infant.

      McCarthy, Fergus P; Giles, Michelle L; Rowlands, Shelley; Purcell, Kara J; Jones, Cheryl A; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a herpesvirus and the most common cause of congenital infection in developed countries. Congenital CMV infection can have devastating consequences to the fetus. The high incidence and the serious morbidity associated with congenital CMV infection emphasise the need for effective interventions to prevent the antenatal transmission of CMV infection. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this review was to assess the benefits and harms of interventions used during pregnancy to prevent mother to fetus transmission of CMV infection. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (31 December 2010). SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi RCTs investigating antenatal interventions for preventing the transmission of CMV from the mother to fetus during pregnancy and adverse outcomes in the congenitally infected infant. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently assessed studies for inclusion. MAIN RESULTS: We identified six studies from the search. None of these studies met the pre-defined criteria for inclusion in this review. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: To date, no RCTs are available that examine antenatal interventions for preventing the transmission of CMV from the infected mother to fetus during pregnancy and adverse outcomes in the congenitally infected infant. Further research is needed to assess the efficacy of interventions aimed at preventing the transmission of CMV from the mother to fetus during pregnancy including a long-term follow-up of exposed infants and a cost effective analysis.
    • Intrapartum caesarean rates differ significantly between ethnic groups--relationship to induction.

      Ismail, Khadijah I; Marchocki, Zbigniew; Brennan, Donal J; O'Donoghue, Keelin; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      OBJECTIVE: Given international variation in obstetric practices and outcomes, comparison of labour outcomes in different ethnic groups could provide important information regarding the underlying reasons for rising caesarean delivery rates. Increasing numbers of women from Eastern European countries are now delivering in Irish maternity hospitals. We compared labour outcomes between Irish and Eastern European (EE) women in a large tertiary referral center. STUDY DESIGN: This was a prospective consecutive cohort study encompassing a single calendar year. The cohort comprised 5550 Irish and 867 EE women delivered in a single institution in 2009. Women who had multiple pregnancies, breech presentation, and elective or pre-labour caesarean sections (CS) were excluded. Data obtained from birth registers included maternal age, nationality, parity, gestation, onset of labour, mode of delivery and birth weight. RESULTS: The overall intrapartum CS rate was 11.4% and was significantly higher in Irish compared to EE women (11.8% vs. 8.8%; p=0.008). The proportion of primiparas was lower in Irish compared to EE women (44.8% vs. 63.6%; p<0.0001). The intrapartum CS rate was almost doubled in Irish compared to EE primiparas (20.7% vs. 11.0%; p<0.0001). Analysis of primiparas according to labour onset revealed a higher intrapartum CS rate in Irish primiparas in both spontaneous (13.5% vs. 7.2%; p<0.0001) and induced labour (29.5% vs. 19.3%; p=0.005). Irish women were older with 19.7% of primiparas aged more than 35, compared to 1.6% of EE women (p<0.0001). The primigravid CS rate in Irish women was significantly higher in women aged 35 years or older compared women aged less than 35 (30.6% vs. 18.3%; p<0.0001) consistent in both spontaneous and induced labour. The primiparous induction rate was 45.4% in Irish women compared to 32% in EE women, and more Irish women were induced before 41 weeks gestation. CONCLUSION: The results highlight that primigravid intrapartum CS rates were significantly lower in EE compared to Irish women. This could potentially be explained by the younger age and lower induction rates in EE primiparas. Further studies are required to determine the factors for this significant difference in labour outcomes for these two Caucasian groups.
    • Investigation of the role of computed tomography as an adjunct to autopsy in the evaluation of stillbirth.

      Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      INTRODUCTION: The number of parents agreeing to autopsy following stillbirth is declining, which has undermined clinicians' ability to assess causes of intrauterine death and can impact counselling regarding recurrence. Post-mortem radiological imaging is a potential alternative method of investigating perinatal loss. The aim of this study was to assess the role of multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) in the investigation of stillbirth. STUDY DESIGN: Following ethical approval and written consent, parents were offered MDCT of the stillborn infant. MDCT was performed with 3D reconstruction, and images were analysed for image quality, anthropomorphic measurements and pathologic findings. Body part and organ-specific measurements were performed; including head, chest and abdominal circumferences, and muscle and liver mass was also measured. Findings were correlated with obstetric history, post-mortem skeletal survey (plain radiography), and formal autopsy. RESULTS: Fourteen third-trimester stillborn infants were scanned. Image quality was moderate to excellent for most body structures. CT was better than plain radiography for imaging skeletal structures and large solid organs and demonstrated a range of pathologies including renal vein thrombosis, mesenteric calcification and skeletal hyperostosis that were not seen on plain radiographs. MDCT did not overlook autopsy findings and provided some additional information. CONCLUSION: This study confirms the feasibility of MDCT in the investigation of third trimester stillbirth. MDCT image quality is acceptable and the examination can demonstrate a range of anatomic and pathologic findings. Initially, its value may be as an important adjunct to conventional autopsy.
    • Secondary recurrent miscarriage is associated with previous male birth.

      Ooi, Poh Veh; Russell, Noirin; O'Donoghue, Keelin; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      Secondary recurrent miscarriage (RM) is defined as three or more consecutive pregnancy losses after delivery of a viable infant. Previous reports suggest that a firstborn male child is associated with less favourable subsequent reproductive potential, possibly due to maternal immunisation against male-specific minor histocompatibility antigens. In a retrospective cohort study of 85 cases of secondary RM we aimed to determine if secondary RM was associated with (i) gender of previous child, maternal age, or duration of miscarriage history, and (ii) increased risk of pregnancy complications. Fifty-three women (62.0%; 53/85) gave birth to a male child prior to RM compared to 32 (38.0%; 32/85) who gave birth to a female child (p=0.002). The majority (91.7%; 78/85) had uncomplicated, term deliveries and normal birth weight neonates, with one quarter of the women previously delivered by Caesarean section. All had routine RM investigations and 19.0% (16/85) had an abnormal result. Fifty-seven women conceived again and 33.3% (19/57) miscarried, but there was no significant difference in failure rates between those with a previous male or female child (13/32 vs. 6/25, p=0.2). When patients with abnormal results were excluded, or when women with only one previous child were considered, there was still no difference in these rates. A previous male birth may be associated with an increased risk of secondary RM but numbers preclude concluding whether this increases recurrence risk. The suggested association with previous male birth provides a basis for further investigations at a molecular level.