Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Obstetrics & Gynecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 42693

Special Issue Editor

1. Maternal Fetal Medicine Department, Obstetric and Gynecology Division, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, Hadera, Israel
2. The Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Interests: maternal fetal medicine; fetal growth restriction; diabetes in pregnancy; sonographic prediction of fetal weight; twin pregnancies; hypertension in pregnancy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pregnancy is a unique period of time in women's health, ultimately ending with the delivery of a healthy baby. Normal pregnancy is characterized by robust maternal physiological changes. These changes are meant to enable, support and adapt maternal physiology to the growing and changing demands of the growing fetus. In addition, they allow the mother to prepare for delivery and protect her in case of an unexpected delivery course.

Pregnancy complications can by divided by their relation to pre-pregnancy maternal health. The first type occurs to women with any defined morbidity preconception, such as chronic hypertension and diabetes. The second type occurs to women with subclinical, yet undiagnosed, morbidity prior to pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is one example for this type of complication, as it usually represents subclinical glucose intolerance that is aggravated to a clinical range of hyperglycemia during pregnancy. The third type of complications are those occurring during pregnancy that are unrelated to pre-pregnancy maternal care (postpartum hemorrhage, etc.)

Good antenatal care starts with good preconception health, controlling all co-morbidities and risk factors. During pregnancy, early diagnosis and intervention can improve the outcome. Aspirin and hypertension control for the prevention of preeclampsia, vaginal progesterone for a short cervix or sugar control for diabetes are only some examples with efficacy. Appropriate treatment of pregnancy complications can not only decrease the maternal complications rate and improve neonatal outcome, but it can also create a balanced uterine environment and decrease the chances for fetal origins of adult disease.

This Special Issue "Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications", aims to provide an updated overview of the diagnosis and management of common pregnancy complications and their impact on maternal, fetal, and neonatal health.

Dr. Rinat Gabbay-Benziv
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • pregnancy complications
  • placental insufficiency
  • diabetes in pregnancy
  • preconception care
  • intrauterine growth restriction
  • preeclampsia
  • infections during pregnancy
  • preterm delivery
  • maternal physiology

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 197 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue: “Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications”
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(19), 5644; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11195644 - 25 Sep 2022
Viewed by 934
Abstract
Most pregnancies are uneventful and end with a healthy mother and a liveborn baby [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)

Research

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12 pages, 7230 KiB  
Article
Placenta Accreta Spectrum Prophylactic Therapy for Hyperfibrinolysis with Tranexamic Acid
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(1), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13010135 - 26 Dec 2023
Viewed by 472
Abstract
Background: To report on prophylactic therapy for hyperfibrinolysis with tranexamic acid (TXA) during expectant management (EM) in the placenta accreta spectrum (PAS). Methods: This is a monocentric retrospective study of women with PAS presenting at our hospital between 2005 and 2021. All data [...] Read more.
Background: To report on prophylactic therapy for hyperfibrinolysis with tranexamic acid (TXA) during expectant management (EM) in the placenta accreta spectrum (PAS). Methods: This is a monocentric retrospective study of women with PAS presenting at our hospital between 2005 and 2021. All data were retrospectively collected through the departmental database. Results: 35 patients with PAS were included. EM was planned in 25 patients prior to delivery. Complete absorption of the retained placenta was seen in two patients (8%). Curettage was performed in 14 patients (56%). A hysterectomy (HE) was needed in seven (28%) patients; 18 patients (72%) underwent uterus-preserving treatment without severe complications. The mean duration of EM was 107 days. The mean day of onset of hyperfibrinolysis and beginning of TXA treatment was day 45. The mean nadir of fibrinogen level before TXA was 242.4 mg/dL, with a mean drop of 29.7% in fibrinogen level. Conclusions: Our data support EM as a safe treatment option in PAS. Hyperfibrinolysis can be a cause of hemorrhage during EM and can be treated with TXA. To our knowledge, this is the first cohort of patients with EM of PAS in whom coagulation monitoring and use of TXA have been shown to successfully treat hyperfibrinolysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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11 pages, 1554 KiB  
Article
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test Performed after 28 Gestational Weeks and Risk for Future Diabetes—A 5-Year Cohort Study
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(18), 6072; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12186072 - 20 Sep 2023
Viewed by 847
Abstract
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is diagnosed by an oral glucose tolerance test (oGTT), preferably performed at 24 + 0–28 + 6 gestational weeks, and is considered a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2DM). In this study, we aimed to evaluate the risk [...] Read more.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is diagnosed by an oral glucose tolerance test (oGTT), preferably performed at 24 + 0–28 + 6 gestational weeks, and is considered a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2DM). In this study, we aimed to evaluate the risk of T2DM associated with abnormal oGTT performed after 28 weeks. We conducted a retrospective cohort study that included parturients with available glucose levels during pregnancy and up to 5 years of follow-up after pregnancy. Data were extracted from the computerized laboratory system of Meuhedet HMO and cross-tabulated with the Israeli National Registry of Diabetes (INRD). The women were stratified into two groups: late oGTT (performed after 28 + 6 weeks) and on-time oGTT (performed at 24 + 0–28 + 6 weeks). The incidence of T2DM was evaluated and compared using univariate analysis followed by survival analysis adjusted to confounders. Overall, 78,326 parturients entered the analysis. Of them, 6195 (7.9%) performed on-time oGTT and 5288 (6.8%) performed late oGTT. The rest—66,846 (85.3%)—had normal glucose tolerance. Women who performed late oGTT had lower rates of GDM and T2DM. However, once GDM was diagnosed, regardless of oGTT timing, the risk of T2DM was increased (2.93 (1.69–5.1) vs. 3.64 (2.44–5.44), aHR (95% CI), late vs. on-time oGTT, p < 0.001 for both). Unlike in oGTT performed on time, one single abnormal value in late oGTT was not associated with an increased risk for T2DM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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11 pages, 429 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Postnatal Follow-Up in Monochorionic TTTS Twin Pregnancies Treated with Fetoscopic Laser Surgery and Complicated by Right Ventricular Outflow Tract Anomalies
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(14), 4734; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12144734 - 17 Jul 2023
Viewed by 774
Abstract
Right ventricular outflow tract anomalies (RVOTAs), such as pulmonary stenosis (PS), pulmonary atresia (PA), and pulmonary insufficiency (PI), are typical cardiac anomalies in monochorionic twins, and they are complicated by twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). The aim of this study was to conduct a [...] Read more.
Right ventricular outflow tract anomalies (RVOTAs), such as pulmonary stenosis (PS), pulmonary atresia (PA), and pulmonary insufficiency (PI), are typical cardiac anomalies in monochorionic twins, and they are complicated by twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). The aim of this study was to conduct a long-term postnatal cardiological evaluation of prenatal RVOTAs in monochorionic diamniotic twin pregnancies complicated by TTTS and treated with fetoscopic laser surgery (FLS) and to analyze possible prenatal predictors of congenital heart disease (CHD). Prenatal RVOTAs were retrospectively retrieved from all TTTS cases treated with FLS in our unit between 2009 and 2019. Twenty-eight prenatal cases of RVOTAs (16 PI, 10 PS, 2 PA) were observed out of 335 cases of TTTS. Four cases did not reach the postnatal period. CHD was present in 17 of the remaining 24 cases (70.8%), with 10 being severe (58.8%; 10/17); nine cases of PS required balloon valvuloplasty, and one case required biventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy. The risk of major CHD increased with prenatal evidence of PS and decreased with the gestational age at the time of TTTS and with the prenatal normalization of blood flow across the pulmonary valve. Despite treatment with FLS, the majority of monochorionic diamniotic twin pregnancies complicated by TTTS with prenatal RVOTAs had CHD at long-term follow-up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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8 pages, 247 KiB  
Article
The Accuracy of Sonographically Estimated Fetal Weight and Prediction of Small for Gestational Age in Twin Pregnancy—Comparison of the First and Second Twins
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(9), 3307; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12093307 - 06 May 2023
Viewed by 873
Abstract
Accurate sonographic estimation of fetal weight is essential for every pregnancy, especially in twin gestation. We conducted a retrospective analysis of the sonographically estimated fetal weight (sEFW) of all twin gestations performed within 14 days of delivery in a single center that aimed [...] Read more.
Accurate sonographic estimation of fetal weight is essential for every pregnancy, especially in twin gestation. We conducted a retrospective analysis of the sonographically estimated fetal weight (sEFW) of all twin gestations performed within 14 days of delivery in a single center that aimed to evaluate the accuracy of sEFW in predicting neonatal weight and small for gestational age (SGA) by comparing the first fetus to the second. A total of 190 twin gestations were evaluated for the study. There was no statistically significant difference in the sEFW between the first and the second twins, but the second twin had a statistically significant lower birth weight (2434 vs. 2351 g, p = 0.028). No difference was found in median absolute systematic error (p = 0.450), random error, or sEFW evaluations that were within 10% of the birth weight between the fetuses (65.3% vs. 67.9%, p = 0.587). Reliability analysis demonstrated an excellent correlation between the sEFW and the birth weight for both twins; however, the Euclidean distance was slightly higher for the first twin (12.21%). For SGA prediction, overall, there was a low sensitivity and a high specificity for all fetuses, with almost no difference between the first and second twins. We found that sEFW overestimated the birth weight for the second twin, with almost no other difference in accuracy measures or SGA prediction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
10 pages, 561 KiB  
Article
Is There a Correlation between Apelin and Insulin Concentrations in Early Second Trimester Amniotic Fluid with Fetal Growth Disorders?
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(9), 3166; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12093166 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
Introduction: Fetal growth disturbances place fetuses at increased risk for perinatal morbidity and mortality. As yet, little is known about the basic pathogenetic mechanisms underlying deranged fetal growth. Apelin is an adipokine with several biological activities. Over the past decade, it has been [...] Read more.
Introduction: Fetal growth disturbances place fetuses at increased risk for perinatal morbidity and mortality. As yet, little is known about the basic pathogenetic mechanisms underlying deranged fetal growth. Apelin is an adipokine with several biological activities. Over the past decade, it has been investigated for its possible role in fetal growth restriction. Most studies have examined apelin concentrations in maternal serum and amniotic fluid in the third trimester or during neonatal life. In this study, apelin concentrations were examined for the first time in early second-trimester fetuses. Another major regulator of tissue growth and metabolism is insulin. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective observational cohort study. We measured apelin and insulin concentrations in the amniotic fluid of 80 pregnant women who underwent amniocentesis in the early second trimester. Amniotic fluid samples were stored in appropriate conditions until delivery. The study groups were then defined, i.e., gestations with different fetal growth patterns (SGA, AGA, and LGA). Measurements were made using ELISA kits. Results: Apelin and insulin levels were measured in all 80 samples. The analysis revealed statistically significant differences in apelin concentrations among groups (p = 0.007). Apelin concentrations in large for gestational age (LGA) fetuses were significantly lower compared to those in AGA and SGA fetuses. Insulin concentrations did not differ significantly among groups. Conclusions: A clear trend towards decreasing apelin concentrations as birthweight progressively increased was identified. Amniotic fluid apelin concentrations in the early second trimester may be useful as a predictive factor for determining the risk of a fetus being born LGA. Future studies are expected/needed to corroborate the present findings and should ideally focus on the potential interplay of apelin with other known intrauterine metabolic factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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7 pages, 220 KiB  
Article
Ultrasonographic Prediction of Placental Invasion in Placenta Previa by Placenta Accreta Index
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(3), 1090; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12031090 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1828
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of the placenta accreta index (PAI) for predicting placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) in women with placenta previa. We analyzed 33 pregnancies with placenta previa at Keio University Hospital. The PAI was assessed in the early [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of the placenta accreta index (PAI) for predicting placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) in women with placenta previa. We analyzed 33 pregnancies with placenta previa at Keio University Hospital. The PAI was assessed in the early third trimester, and PAS was diagnosed histologically or clinically defined as retained placenta after manual removal attempts. The PAI and incidence of PAS were analyzed. Ten women (30%) were diagnosed with PAS and had higher volumes of perioperative bleeding (p = 0.016), higher rate of requiring uterine artery embolization (p = 0.005), and peripartum hysterectomy (p = 0.0002) than women without PAS. A PAI > 2 was the most useful cut-off point for predicting PAS and was more sensitive than prediction values using traditional evaluation (history of cesarean section and placental location). Post-hoc analysis revealed a higher rate of previous history of cesarean delivery (30% vs. 4.4%, p = 0.038), severe placental lacunae (≥grade2) (70% vs. 8.7%, p = 0.0003), thin myometrial thickness (90% vs. 22%, p = 0.0003), anterior placenta (100% vs. 30%, p = 0.0002), and presence of bridging vessels (30% vs. 0%, p = 0.0059) in PAS women. PAI could help predict the outcomes of women with placenta previa with and without a history of cesarean delivery to reduce PAS-induced perinatal complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
12 pages, 620 KiB  
Article
Screening of Gestational Diabetes and Its Risk Factors: Pregnancy Outcome of Women with Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors According to Glycose Tolerance Test Results
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(17), 4953; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11174953 - 23 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2319
Abstract
Background: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) can cause maternal and neonatal health problems, and its prevalence is increasing worldwide. We assessed the screening of GDM during a 7-year period and compared the outcome of pregnancies at high risk for GDM. Methods: We [...] Read more.
Background: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) can cause maternal and neonatal health problems, and its prevalence is increasing worldwide. We assessed the screening of GDM during a 7-year period and compared the outcome of pregnancies at high risk for GDM. Methods: We analyzed non-selected pregnant women (n = 5021) receiving antenatal care in Tartu University Hospital, Estonia in 2012–2018. Pregnant women were classified based on the absence or presence of GDM risk factors as low risk (n = 2302) or high risk for GDM (n = 2719), respectively. The latter were divided into subgroups after the oral glycose tolerance test (OGTT): GDM (n = 423), normal result (n = 1357) and not tested (n = 939). Results: The proportion of women with GDM risk factors increased from 43.5% in 2012 to 57.8% in 2018, and the diagnosis of GDM more than doubled (5.2% vs. 13.7%). Pregnancies predisposed to GDM but with normal OGTT results were accompanied by an excessive gestational weight gain and increased odds to deliver a LGA baby (AOR 2.3 (CI 1.8–3.0)). Conclusions: An increasing number of pregnancies presenting GDM risk factors are diagnosed with GDM. Pregnant women with GDM risk factors are, despite normal OGTT, at risk of increased weight gain and LGA newborns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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11 pages, 1440 KiB  
Article
Characterization of the MG828507 lncRNA Located Upstream of the FLT1 Gene as an Etiology for Pre-Eclampsia
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(15), 4603; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11154603 - 07 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1538
Abstract
Background: FLT1 is one of the significantly overexpressed genes found in a pre-eclamptic placenta and is involved with the etiology of this disease. Methods: We conducted genome-wide expression profiling by RNA-seq of placentas from women with pre-eclampsia and those with normotensive pregnancy. Results: [...] Read more.
Background: FLT1 is one of the significantly overexpressed genes found in a pre-eclamptic placenta and is involved with the etiology of this disease. Methods: We conducted genome-wide expression profiling by RNA-seq of placentas from women with pre-eclampsia and those with normotensive pregnancy. Results: We identified a lncRNA gene, MG828507, located ~80 kb upstream of the FLT1 gene in a head-to-head orientation, which was overexpressed in the pre-eclamptic placenta. MG828507 and FLT1 are located within the same topologically associated domain in the genome. The MG828507 mRNA level correlated with that of the FLT1 in placentas from pre-eclamptic women as well as in samples from uncomplicated pregnancies. However, neither the overexpression nor knockdown of MG828507 affected the expression of FLT1. Analysis of pre-eclampsia-linking genetic variants at this locus suggested that the placental genotype of one variant was associated with the expression of MG828507. The MG828507 transcript level was not found to be associated with maternal blood pressure, but showed a relationship with birth and placental weights, suggesting that this lncRNA might be one of the pivotal placental factors in pre-eclampsia. Conclusion: Further characterization of the MG828507 gene may elucidate the etiological roles of the MG828507 and FLT1 genes in pre-eclampsia in a genomic context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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11 pages, 797 KiB  
Article
Better Estimation of Spontaneous Preterm Birth Prediction Performance through Improved Gestational Age Dating
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(10), 2885; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11102885 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2321
Abstract
The clinical management of pregnancy and spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) relies on estimates of gestational age (GA). Our objective was to evaluate the effect of GA dating uncertainty on the observed performance of a validated proteomic biomarker risk predictor, and then to test [...] Read more.
The clinical management of pregnancy and spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) relies on estimates of gestational age (GA). Our objective was to evaluate the effect of GA dating uncertainty on the observed performance of a validated proteomic biomarker risk predictor, and then to test the generalizability of that effect in a broader range of GA at blood draw. In a secondary analysis of a prospective clinical trial (PAPR; NCT01371019), we compared two GA dating categories: both ultrasound and dating by last menstrual period (LMP) (all subjects) and excluding dating by LMP (excluding LMP). The risk predictor’s performance was observed at the validated risk predictor threshold both in weeks 191/7–206/7 and extended to weeks 180/7–206/7. Strict blinding and independent statistical analyses were employed. The validated biomarker risk predictor showed greater observed sensitivity of 88% at 75% specificity (increases of 17% and 1%) in more reliably dated (excluding-LMP) subjects, relative to all subjects. Excluding dating by LMP significantly improved the sensitivity in weeks 191/7–206/7. In the broader blood draw window, the previously validated risk predictor threshold significantly stratified higher and lower risk of sPTB, and the risk predictor again showed significantly greater observed sensitivity in excluding-LMP subjects. These findings have implications for testing the performance of models aimed at predicting PTB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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18 pages, 344 KiB  
Article
Validation and Psychometric Properties of the Spanish Version of the Fear of Childbirth Questionnaire (CFQ-e)
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(7), 1843; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11071843 - 26 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2131
Abstract
The fear of childbirth is a topical concern, yet the issue has barely been studied in Spain, and only one fear of childbirth measurement instrument has been validated in the country. The aim of this study was to translate, adapt and validate the [...] Read more.
The fear of childbirth is a topical concern, yet the issue has barely been studied in Spain, and only one fear of childbirth measurement instrument has been validated in the country. The aim of this study was to translate, adapt and validate the Fear of Childbirth Questionnaire (CFQ) for use in Spain, as well as to describe and evaluate the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of this instrument. In a first phase, a methodological study was carried out (translation–backtranslation and cross-cultural adaptation), and pilot study was carried out in the target population. In addition, content validation of the instrument was obtained (CFQ-e) from 10 experts. In the second phase, a cross-sectional study was carried out at several centres in Gran Canaria Island to obtain a validation sample. The evaluation of the psychometric properties of the CFQ-e, including construct validity through exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis, the calculation of reliability via factor consistency using the ORION coefficients as well as alpha and omega coefficients were carried out. The CFQ-e showed evidence of content validity, adequate construct validity and reliability. The CFQ-e is composed of 37 items distributed in four subscales or dimensions: “fear of medical interventions”; “fear of harm and dying”; “fear of pain” and “fears relating to sexual aspects and embarrassment”. The CFQ-e constitutes a valid and reliable tool to measure the fear of childbirth in the Spanish pregnant population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
8 pages, 711 KiB  
Article
Awakened Beta-Cell Function Decreases the Risk of Hypoglycemia in Pregnant Women with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(4), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11041050 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1658
Abstract
Diabetes in pregnancy creates many problems for both the mother and child. Pregnant women with type 1 diabetes experience more frequent hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic episodes. This study aimed to determine the risk of clinically significant biochemical hypoglycemia (CSBH) by HbA1c, fasting C-peptide, mean [...] Read more.
Diabetes in pregnancy creates many problems for both the mother and child. Pregnant women with type 1 diabetes experience more frequent hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic episodes. This study aimed to determine the risk of clinically significant biochemical hypoglycemia (CSBH) by HbA1c, fasting C-peptide, mean plasma glucose (PG), and insulin dose in pregnant women type 1 diabetes mellitus according to each trimester of the pregnancy. Methods. We conducted a prospective observational study of 84 pregnant women with type 1 diabetes in an academic hospital. To present the hypoglycemia, we divided the participants into two groups: those who did not have clinically significant biochemical hypoglycemia (CSBH−; n = 30) and those who had clinically significant biochemical hypoglycemia (CSBH+; n = 54). Results. In the first, second, and third trimesters, the duration of T1DM, fasting C-peptide, and mean glucose concentration was inversely associated with CSBH. Conclusions. Insulin overdose is the most common risk factor for hypoglycemia. In pregnant women with type 1 diabetes with elevated fasting C-peptide levels, the insulin dose should be diminished to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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12 pages, 2704 KiB  
Article
Epidemiology of Antepartum Stillbirths in Austria—A Population-Based Study between 2008 and 2020
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(24), 5828; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10245828 - 13 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1991
Abstract
(1) Background: Across Europe, the incidence of antepartum stillbirth varies greatly, partly because of heterogeneous definitions regarding gestational weeks and differences in legislation. With this study, we sought to provide a comprehensive overview on the demographics of antepartum stillbirth in Austria, defined as [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Across Europe, the incidence of antepartum stillbirth varies greatly, partly because of heterogeneous definitions regarding gestational weeks and differences in legislation. With this study, we sought to provide a comprehensive overview on the demographics of antepartum stillbirth in Austria, defined as non-iatrogenic fetal demise ≥22+0 gestational weeks (/40). (2) Methods: We conducted a population-based study on epidemiological characteristics of singleton antepartum stillbirth in Austria between January 2008 and December 2020. Data were derived from the validated Austrian Birth Registry. (3) Results: From January 2008 through December 2020, the antepartum stillbirth rate ≥20+0/40 was 3.10, ≥22+0/40 3.14, and ≥24+0/40 2.83 per 1000 births in Austria. The highest incidence was recorded in the federal states of Vienna, Styria, and Lower and Upper Austria, contributing to 71.9% of all stillbirths in the country. In the last decade, significant fluctuations in incidence were noted: from 2011 to 2012, the rate significantly declined from 3.40 to 3.07‰, whilst it significantly increased from 2.76 to 3.49‰ between 2019 and 2020. The median gestational age of antepartum stillbirth in Austria was 33+0 (27+2–37+4) weeks. Stillbirth rates ≤26/40 ranged from 164.98 to 334.18‰, whilst the lowest rates of 0.58–8.4‰ were observed ≥36/40. The main demographic risk factors were maternal obesity and low parity. (4) Conclusions: In Austria, the antepartum stillbirth rate has remained relatively stable at 2.83–3.10 per 1000 births for the last decade, despite a significant decline in 2012 and an increase in 2020. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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16 pages, 623 KiB  
Article
Maternal-Perinatal Variables in Patients with Severe Preeclampsia Who Develop Acute Kidney Injury
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(23), 5629; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10235629 - 29 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2220
Abstract
Introduction: At present, we are witnessing an increase in preeclampsia, especially the most severe forms, which are associated with an increased risk of maternal-perinatal morbidity and mortality. As a severity criterion, acute kidney injury (AKI) has been associated with a worse prognosis, and [...] Read more.
Introduction: At present, we are witnessing an increase in preeclampsia, especially the most severe forms, which are associated with an increased risk of maternal-perinatal morbidity and mortality. As a severity criterion, acute kidney injury (AKI) has been associated with a worse prognosis, and for this reason, the maternal and perinatal variables associated with AKI in patients with severe preeclampsia (SP) were analysed in this study. Methods: An observational, retrospective, single-centre study of patients with SP treated at a tertiary hospital between January 2007 and December 2018 was conducted. The case criteria based on the criteria established by the ACOG Practice Guidelines for Gestational Hypertension and Preeclampsia. AKI is considered when serum creatinine exceeds 1.1 mg/dL in a pregnant woman with previously normal renal function. In patients with existing chronic kidney disease (CKD), it is referred to as AKI if the baseline serum creatinine increases by 1.5 fold. Pregestational, gestational and postpartum variables were analysed up to 12 weeks postpartum using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: During the study period, 76,828 births were attended, and 303 pregnant women were diagnosed with SP. The annual incidence of SP increased gradually throughout the study period, reaching 1.79/100 births/year in 2018. Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurred in 24.8% of the patients. The multivariate analysis revealed an increased association with a history of previous CKD, the use of assisted reproductive techniques and caesarean section. Uric acid and thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) had a high correlation with AKI. Indications for caesarean section are associated with AKI in SP. Regarding perinatal outcomes in cases of AKI, there was a higher percentage of neonates who required foetal lung maturation with steroids and an increased need for NICU admission. No case of maternal death was recorded; however, an increase in neonatal mortality was found among patients who did not develop AKI. After 12 weeks postpartum, 72 patients were referred to the nephrology consultation for persistent hypertension, proteinuria or renal failure. Conclusions: In preeclampsia, AKI is a common complication, especially among patients with a history of CKD, those who became pregnant using assisted reproduction techniques and those who delivered via caesarean section. The perinatal impact of AKI is mainly centred on a higher rate of NICU admission and a lower mortality rate. Among biochemical and haematological markers, the uric acid level prior to renal failure has a direct and significant correlation with the risk of AKI, as does the development of TMA in patients with preeclampsia. Therefore, the monitoring of renal function in cases of preeclampsia should be strict, and referral for a nephrology consultation may be necessary in some cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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13 pages, 1540 KiB  
Article
Facilitators and Strategies for Breaking the News of an Intrauterine Death—A Mixed Methods Study among Obstetricians
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(22), 5347; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10225347 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1889
Abstract
(1) Background: The death of a baby in utero is a very sad event for both the affected parents and the caring doctors. By this study, we aimed to assess the tools, which may help obstetricians to overcome this challenge in their profession. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The death of a baby in utero is a very sad event for both the affected parents and the caring doctors. By this study, we aimed to assess the tools, which may help obstetricians to overcome this challenge in their profession. (2) Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional online survey in 1526 obstetricians registered with the Austrian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology between September and October 2020. (3) Results: With a response rate of 24.2% (n = 439), our study shows that diagnosing fetal death was associated with a moderate to high degree of stress, regardless of position (p = 0.949), age (p = 0.110), gender (p = 0.155), and experience (p = 0.150) of physicians. Coping strategies for delivering the news of intrauterine death to affected parents were relying on clinical knowledge and high levels of self-confidence (55.0%; 203/369), support from colleagues (53.9%; 199/369), and debriefing (52.8%; 195/369). In general, facilitators for breaking bad news were more commonly cultivated by female obstetricians [OR 1.267 (95% CI 1.149–1.396); p < 0.001], residents [χ2(3;369) = 9.937; p = 0.019], and obstetricians of younger age [41 (34–50) years vs. 45 (36–55) years; p = 0.018]. External facilitators were most frequently mentioned, including professional support, training, professional guidance, time, parents’ leaflets, follow-up consultations, a supporting consultation atmosphere, and preparation before delivering the bad news. Internal facilitators included knowledge, empathy, seeking silence, reflection, privacy, and relief of guilt. (4) Conclusions: Communicating the diagnosis of fetal death evokes moderate to high levels of stress among obstetricians. Resources from both the professional and private environment are required to deal with this professional challenge on a personal level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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11 pages, 522 KiB  
Article
Predictive Factors Involved in Postpartum Regressions of Cytological/Histological Cervical High-Grade Dysplasia Diagnosed during Pregnancy
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(22), 5319; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10225319 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1708
Abstract
Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the evolution of high-grade cervical dysplasia during pregnancy and the postpartum period and to determine factors associated with dysplasia regression. Methods: Pregnant patients diagnosed with high-grade lesions were identified in our tertiary hospital center. [...] Read more.
Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the evolution of high-grade cervical dysplasia during pregnancy and the postpartum period and to determine factors associated with dysplasia regression. Methods: Pregnant patients diagnosed with high-grade lesions were identified in our tertiary hospital center. High-grade lesions were defined either cytologically, by high squamous intraepithelial lesion/atypical squamous cells being unable to exclude HSIL (HSIL/ASC-H), or histologically, with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2+ (all CIN 2 and CIN 3) during pregnancy. Postpartum regression was defined cytologically or histologically by at least a one-degree reduction in severity from the antepartum diagnosis. A logistic regression model was applied to determine independent predictive factors for high-grade cervical dysplasia regression after delivery. Results: Between January 2000 and October 2017, 79 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. High-grade cervical lesions were diagnosed by cytology in 87% of cases (69/79) and confirmed by histology in 45% of those (31/69). The overall regression rate in our cohort was 43% (34/79). Univariate analysis revealed that parity (p = 0.04), diabetes (p = 0.04) and third trimester cytology (p = 0.009) were associated with dysplasia regression. Nulliparity (OR = 4.35; 95%CI = (1.03–18.42); p= 0.046) was identified by multivariate analysis as an independent predictive factor of high-grade dysplasia regression. The presence of HSIL on third-trimester cervical cytology (OR = 0.17; 95%CI = (0.04–0.72); p = 0.016) was identified as an independent predictive factor of high-grade dysplasia persistence at postpartum. Conclusion: Our regression rate was high, at 43%, for high-grade cervical lesions postpartum. Parity status may have an impact on dysplasia regression during pregnancy. A cervical cytology should be performed at the third trimester to identify patients at risk of CIN persistence after delivery. However, larger cohorts are required to confirm these results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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13 pages, 20947 KiB  
Article
Neutrophil to Lymphocyte Ratio in Maternal Blood: A Clue to Suspect Amnionitis
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(12), 2673; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10122673 - 17 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2933
Abstract
There is no information about whether maternal neutrophil to lymphocyte ratios (NLRs) progressively increase with respect to the progression of acute histologic chorioamnionitis (acute-HCA) and increased maternal NLR is a risk factor for amnionitis, known as advanced acute-HCA, in pregnant women at risk [...] Read more.
There is no information about whether maternal neutrophil to lymphocyte ratios (NLRs) progressively increase with respect to the progression of acute histologic chorioamnionitis (acute-HCA) and increased maternal NLR is a risk factor for amnionitis, known as advanced acute-HCA, in pregnant women at risk for spontaneous preterm birth (PTB). The objective of the current study is to examine this issue. The study population included 132 singleton PTB (<34 weeks) due to either preterm labor or preterm-PROM with both placental pathology and maternal CBC results within 48 h before delivery. We examined maternal NLRs according to the progression of acute-HCA in extra-placental membranes (EPM) (i.e., group-0, inflammation-free EPM; group-1, inflammation restricted to decidua; group-2, inflammation restricted to the membranous trophoblast of chorion and the decidua; group-3, inflammation in the connective tissue of chorion but not amnion; group-4, amnionitis). Maternal NLRs significantly and progressively increased with the progression of acute-HCA (Spearman’s rank correlation test, γ = 0.363, p = 0.000019). Moreover, the increased maternal NLR (≥7.75) (Odds-ratio 5.56, 95% confidence-interval 1.26-24.62, p < 0.05) was a significant independent risk factor for amnionitis even after the correction for potential confounders. In conclusion, maternal NLRs significantly and progressively increased according to the progression of acute-HCA and the increased maternal NLR (≥7.75) was an independent risk factor for amnionitis in spontaneous PTB. The evaluation of the performance of NLR should clearly require a prospective description of this parameter in a cohort of patients with either threatened PTL or preterm-PROM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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8 pages, 471 KiB  
Article
Parity and Interval from Previous Delivery—Influence on Perinatal Outcome in Advanced Maternal Age Parturients
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(3), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10030460 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1718
Abstract
Objective: To investigate the effect of parity and interpregnancy interval (IPI) on perinatal outcomes in advanced maternal age (AMA) parturients. Methods: A population-based retrospective cohort study of all women older than 40 years, who had a singleton live birth after 24 weeks in [...] Read more.
Objective: To investigate the effect of parity and interpregnancy interval (IPI) on perinatal outcomes in advanced maternal age (AMA) parturients. Methods: A population-based retrospective cohort study of all women older than 40 years, who had a singleton live birth after 24 weeks in the United States in 2017 Women were categorized to three groups by parity and interval from last delivery: primiparas, multiparas with IPI ≤ 5 years, and multiparas with IPI > 5 years. Primary outcome was composite adverse neonatal outcome (preterm delivery <34 weeks, birthweight <2000 g, neonatal seizure, neonatal intensive care unit admission, Apgar score <7 at 5 min, or assisted ventilation >6 h). Secondary outcome was composite adverse maternal outcome and other adverse perinatal outcomes. Univariate and multivariate analysis were used to compare between groups. Results: During 2017, 3,864,754 deliveries were recorded into the database. Following exclusion, 109,564 AMA gravidas entered analysis. Of them, 24,769 (22.6%) were nulliparas, 39,933 (36.4%) were multiparas with IPI ≤ 5 years, and 44,862 (40.9%) were multiparas with IPI > 5 years. Composite neonatal outcome was higher in nulliparas and in multiparas with IPI > 5 years, in comparison to multiparas with IPI ≤ 5 years (16% vs. 13% vs. 10%, respectively, p < 0.05). Maternal composite outcome was similar between groups. In the multivariable analysis, relative to nulliparas, only multiparity with IPI ≤ 5 years had a protective effect against the composite neonatal outcome (aOR 0.97, 95% CI 0.95–0.99, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Among AMA gravidas, multiparity with IPI ≤ 5 years has a significant protective effect against adverse neonatal outcomes when compared to nulliparas. Multiparity with IPI > 5 years is no longer protective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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11 pages, 1825 KiB  
Article
Continuous Maternal Hemodynamics Monitoring at Delivery Using a Novel, Noninvasive, Wireless, PPG-Based Sensor
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10010008 - 22 Dec 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4205
Abstract
Objective: To evaluate continuous monitoring of maternal hemodynamics during labor and delivery utilizing an innovative, noninvasive, reflective photoplethysmography-based device. Study design: The Biobeat Monitoring Platform includes a wearable wristwatch monitor that automatically samples cardiac output (CO), blood pressure (BP), stroke volume (SV), systemic [...] Read more.
Objective: To evaluate continuous monitoring of maternal hemodynamics during labor and delivery utilizing an innovative, noninvasive, reflective photoplethysmography-based device. Study design: The Biobeat Monitoring Platform includes a wearable wristwatch monitor that automatically samples cardiac output (CO), blood pressure (BP), stroke volume (SV), systemic vascular resistance (SVR), heart rate (HR) every 5 s and uploads all data to a smartphone-based app and to a data cloud, enabling remote patient monitoring and analysis of data. Low-risk parturients at term, carrying singletons pregnancies, were recruited at early delivery prior to the active phase. Big data analysis of the collected data was performed using the Power BI analysis tool (Microsoft). Next, data were normalized to visual presentation using Excel Data Analysis and the regression tool. Average measurements were compared before and after rupture of membranes, epidural anesthesia, fetal delivery, and placental expulsion. Results: Eighty-one parturients entered analysis. Epidural anesthesia was associated with a slight elevation in CO (5.5 vs. 5.6, L/min, 10 min before and after EA, p < 0.05) attributed to a non-significant increase in both HR and SV. BP remained stable as of counter decrease in SVR (1361 vs. 1319 mmHg⋅min⋅mL−1, 10 min before and after EA, p < 0.05). Fetal delivery was associated with a peak in CO after which it rapidly declined (6.0 vs. 7.2 vs. 6.1 L/min, 30 min before vs. point of delivery vs. after delivery, p < 0.05). The mean BP remained stable throughout delivery with a slight increase at fetal delivery (92 vs. 95 vs. 92.1 mmHg, p < 0.05), reflecting the increase in CO and decrease in SVR (1284 vs. 1112 vs. 1280 mmHg⋅min⋅mL−1, p < 0.05)with delivery. Placental expulsion was associated with a second peak in CO and decrease in SVR. Conclusions: We presented a novel application of noninvasive hemodynamic maternal monitoring throughout labor and delivery for both research and clinical use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Other

22 pages, 1865 KiB  
Review
The Impact of Diagnostic Criteria for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus on Adverse Maternal Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(4), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10040666 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3304
Abstract
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to examine the impact of different gestational-diabetes (GDM) diagnostic-criteria on the risk of adverse-maternal-outcomes. The search process encompassed PubMed (Medline), Scopus, and Web of Science databases to retrieve original, population-based studies with the universal GDM screening approach, [...] Read more.
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to examine the impact of different gestational-diabetes (GDM) diagnostic-criteria on the risk of adverse-maternal-outcomes. The search process encompassed PubMed (Medline), Scopus, and Web of Science databases to retrieve original, population-based studies with the universal GDM screening approach, published in English language and with a focus on adverse-maternal-outcomes up to January 2020. According to GDM diagnostic criteria, the studies were classified into seven groups. A total of 49 population-based studies consisting of 1409018 pregnant women with GDM and 7,667,546 non-GDM counterparts were selected for data analysis and knowledge synthesis. Accordingly, the risk of adverse-maternal-outcomes including primary-cesarean, induction of labor, maternal-hemorrhage, and pregnancy-related-hypertension, overall, regardless of GDM diagnostic-criteria and in all diagnostic-criteria subgroups were significantly higher than non-GDM counterparts. However, in meta-regression, the increased risk was not influenced by the GDM diagnostic-classification and the magnitude of the risks among patients, using the IADPSG criteria-classification as the most strict-criteria, was similar to other criteria. In conclusion, a reduction in the diagnostic-threshold increased the prevalence of GDM, but the risk of adverse-maternal-outcome was not different among those women who were diagnosed through more or less intensive strategies. Our review findings can empower health-care-providers to select the most cost-effective approach for the screening of GDM among pregnant women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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Other

9 pages, 371 KiB  
Systematic Review
Efficacy of Continuous Glucose Monitoring on Glycaemic Control in Pregnant Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus—A Systematic Review
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(10), 2932; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11102932 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2779
Abstract
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is one of the most common complications of pregnancy, affecting up to 14% of pregnant women. The population of patients with risk factors of GDM is increasing; thus, it is essential to improve management of this condition. One of [...] Read more.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is one of the most common complications of pregnancy, affecting up to 14% of pregnant women. The population of patients with risk factors of GDM is increasing; thus, it is essential to improve management of this condition. One of the key factors affecting perinatal outcomes in GDM is glycaemic control. Until recently, glucose monitoring was only available with self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). However, nowadays, there is a new method, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), which has been shown to be safe in pregnancy. Since proper glycaemia assessment has been shown to affect perinatal outcomes, we decided to perform a systematic review to analyse the role of CGM in glycaemic control in GDM. We conducted a web search of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Science databases according to the PRISMA guidelines. The web search was performed by two independent researchers and resulted in 14 articles included in the systematic review. The study protocol was registered in the PROSPERO database with registration number CRD42021289883. The main outcome of the systematic review was determining that, when compared, CGM played an important role in better glycaemic control than SMBG. Furthermore, glycaemic control with CGM improved qualification for insulin therapy. However, most of the articles did not reveal CGM’s role in improving neonatal outcomes. Therefore, more studies are needed to analyse the role of CGM in affecting perinatal outcomes in GDM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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