• Antenatal suspicion of ischemic placental disease and coexistence of maternal and fetal placental disease: analysis of over 500 cases.

      Cooley, Sharon M; Reidy, Fiona R; Mooney, Eoghan E; McAuliffe, Fionnuala M; Fetal Medicine Center, National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2011-12)
      To investigate the antenatal suspicion of placental disease and the coexistence of maternal and fetal placental ischemic disease.
    • Delayed villous maturation of the placenta: quantitative assessment in different cohorts.

      Treacy, Ann; Higgins, Mary; Kearney, John M; McAuliffe, Fionnuala; Mooney, Eoghan E; Department of Pathology, National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. anntreacy@mac.com (2013)
      Placental villous maturation is maximal in the 3rd trimester, with an abundance of terminal villi. Delayed villous maturation (DVM) of the placenta is associated with chromosomal abnormalities, gestational diabetes, and an adverse outcome. This study compares quantitative assessment of vasculo-syncytial membranes (VSM) in cases of liveborn infants, perinatal deaths, and controls. Cases were selected as follows: (1) liveborn infants with a qualitative diagnosis of DVM (n  =  15); (2) controls matched for gestational age whose placentas did not have DVM (n  =  15); (3) stillbirths (SB)/neonatal deaths (NND) showing DVM (n  =  13); and (4) SB from autopsies in which DVM was felt to be the cause of death (COD) (n  =  12). Vasculo-syncytial membranes were counted in 10 terminal villi in each of 10 consecutive high-power fields on 3 slides. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS. Liveborn cases with DVM showed statistically significantly less VSM than controls (mean 1.01 vs 2.42, P < 0.0001). The SB/NND group also showed significantly less VSM than the control group (mean 0.46 vs 2.42, P < 0.0001) and less than the liveborn DVM group (mean 0.46 vs 1.01, P  =  0.001). The COD group was significantly different from the control group (mean 0.42 vs 2.42, P < 0.0001) and the liveborn DVM group (mean 0.42 vs 1.01, P < 0.0001) but not significantly different from the SB/NND group. There is a quantitative reduction in VSM in cases of DVM compared to controls.
    • Imaging and assessment of placental function.

      Moran, Mary; McAuliffe, Fionnuala M; School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. (Journal of clinical ultrasound : JCU, 2011-09)
      The placenta is the vital support organ for the developing fetus. This article reviews current ultrasound (US) methods of assessing placental function. The ability of ultrasound to detect placental pathology is discussed. Doppler technology to investigate the fetal, placental, and maternal circulations in both high-risk and uncomplicated pregnancies is discussed and the current literature on the value of three-dimensional power Doppler studies to assess placental volume and vascularization is also evaluated. The article highlights the need for further research into three-dimensional ultrasound and alternative methods of placental evaluation if progress is to be made in optimizing placental function assessment.
    • Thoraco-amniotic shunting for fetal pleural effusion--a case series.

      Walsh, J; Mahony, R; Higgins, S; McParland, P; Carroll, S; McAuliffe, F; National Maternity Hospital, Holles St, Dublin 2. jennifer.walsh@ucd.ie (2011-11-15)
      Fetal pleural effusion is a rare occurrence, with an incidence of 1 per 10-15,000 pregnancies. The prognosis is related to the underlying cause and is often poor. There is increasing evidence that in utero therapy with thoraco-amniotic shunting improves prognosis by allowing lung expansion thereby preventing hydrops and pulmonary hypoplasia. This is a review of all cases of fetal pleural effusion managed over an eight year period the National Maternity Hospital Dublin. Over the nine year period there were 21 cases of fetal pleural effusion giving an overall incidence of 1 per 9281 deliveries. Of these, 15 underwent thoraco-amniotic shunting. There were associated anomalies diagnosed in 5 (33%) of cases. The overall survival in our cohort was 53%. The presence of hydrops was a poor prognostic factor, with survival in cases with hydrops of 33% (3/9) compared to 83% (5/6) in those cases without associated hydrops.