Womens Health Academic Center

London, United Kingdom

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London, United Kingdom
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Narayan B.,Womens Health Academic Center | Nelson-Piercy C.,Womens Health Academic Center
Clinical medicine (London, England) | Year: 2016

The prevalence of medical problems in pregnancy is increasing because of a complex interplay between demographic and lifestyle factors, and developments in modern medicine. Maternal mortality and morbidity resulting from treatable medical conditions, such as venous thromboembolism, epilepsy and autoimmune disease, have not decreased in recent years. This is despite a marked decrease in overall maternal mortality. It is vital that all physicians acquire a basic knowledge and understanding of medical problems in pregnancy. This includes prepregnancy measures such as counselling and optimisation of medical therapy, as well as multidisciplinary management throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period. Prompt recognition and treatment of acute and chronic illness is of clear benefit, and most drugs and many radiological investigations may be used in pregnancy. © Royal College of Physicians 2016. All rights reserved.


Nishikawa E.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Oakley L.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Seed P.T.,Womens Health Academic Center | Doyle P.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Oteng-Ntim E.,Guys And St Thomas Nhs Foundation Trust
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Objective: To investigate the ethnicity-specific association between body mass index (BMI) and diabetes in pregnancy, with a focus on the appropriateness of using BMI cut-offs to identify pregnant women at risk of diabetes. Study design: Analysis of routinely-collected data from a maternity unit in London, UK. Data were available on 53 264 women delivering between 2004 and 2012. Logistic regression was used to explore the association between diabetes in pregnancy and BMI among women of different ethnicities, and adjusted probability estimates were used to derive risk equivalent cut-offs. ROC curve analysis was used to assess the performance of BMI as a predictor of diabetes in pregnancy. Results: The prevalence of diabetes in pregnancy was 2.3% overall; highest in South and East Asian women (4.6% and 3.7%). In adjusted analysis, BMI category was strongly associated with diabetes in all ethnic groups. Modelled as a continuous variable with a quadratic term, BMI was an acceptable predictor of diabetes according to ROC curve analysis. Applying a BMI cut-off of 30 kg/m2 would identify just over half of Black women with diabetes in pregnancy, a third of White (32%) and South Asian (35%) women, but only 13% of East Asian women. The ‘risk equivalent’ (comparable to 30 kg/m2 in White women) threshold for South Asian and East Asian women was approximately 21 kg/m2, and 27.5 kg/m2 for Black women. Conclusions: This study suggests that current BMI thresholds are likely to be ineffective for diabetes screening in South and East Asian women, as many cases of diabetes will occur at low BMI levels. Our results suggest that East Asian women appear to face a similarly high risk of diabetes to South Asian women. Current UK guidelines recommend diabetes screening should be offered to all pregnant South Asian women; extending this recommendation to include women of East Asian ethnicity may be appropriate. © 2017 Nishikawa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


McCarthy F.P.,University College Cork | McCarthy F.P.,Womens Health Academic Center | Doyle A.,University College Cork | Khashan A.S.,University College Cork | Kenny L.C.,University College Cork
Reproductive Sciences | Year: 2015

Objectives: To investigate whether maternal plasma glycogen phosphorylase BB (GPBB) levels were altered in early pregnancy and/or at the time of diagnosis of disease in preeclampsia (term and preterm <37 weeks' gestation) or small for gestational age (SGA). Methods: We conducted 6 nested case-control studies within the Screening of Pregnancy Endpoint (SCOPE) Ireland cohort. Blood samples from women with preeclampsia or SGA were analyzed both from the time of disease presentation and at 15 and 20 weeks' gestation. These were compared with control samples obtained from SCOPE women with healthy uncomplicated pregnancies matched for age, ethnicity, parity, body mass index, and gestational age. Glycogen phosphorylase BB levels were measured using the Diacordon GPBB enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Diagenics, Germany). Results: Glycogen phosphorylase BB levels were higher in women with preeclampsia compared with controls at the time of disease (term preeclampsia median [interquartile range (IQR)]: 22.2 [15.1-39.8] ng/mL vs 16.9 [10.4-19.1] ng/mL; P =.04; N = 14 and preterm preeclampsia median [IQR]: 23.1 [11.2-30.9] ng/mL vs 17.2 [9.8-19.1] ng/mL; P =.04; N = 11) and at 20 weeks' gestation (median [IQR]: 23.0 [15.6-31.4] ng/mL vs 17.0 [13.4-23.6] ng/mL; N = 39; P =.04). Glycogen phosphorylase BB levels were also significantly higher in women with SGA compared with normal controls at the time of disease detection (median [IQR]: 22.7 [12.6-25.5] ng/mL vs 17.0 [9.8-18.0] ng/mL; N = 23; P =.03) but significantly less than controls at 15 weeks' gestation prior to disease detection (median [IQR]: 16.0 [12.1-23.2] ng/mL vs 22.2 [17.0-28.9] ng/mL; N = 25; P =.02). Conclusion: Glycogen phosphorylase BB alone has modest predictive abilities for the development of preeclampsia or SGA. Further research may examine its use in combination with other markers. © Society for Gynecologic Investigation.


Goodacre S.,University of Sheffield | Nelson-Piercy C.,Womens Health Academic Center | Hunt B.,Guys and St Thomass NHS Foundation Trust | Chan W.-S.,British Columbia Womens Hospital and Health Center
Emergency Medicine Journal | Year: 2015

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a leading cause of death in pregnancy and postpartum. Clinicians face a difficult choice when deciding whether to use diagnostic imaging to investigate for suspected PE in these patients, between risking potentially catastrophic consequences of missed diagnosis if imaging is withheld and risking unnecessary iatrogenic harm to both mother and fetus if imaging is overused. This paper explores the options for imaging and evidence for the use of clinical features, clinical predictions scores or biomarkers to select pregnant and postpartum women for imaging. It also considers where future research could be most appropriately directed.


Objective To determine the sexual and reproductive health priorities of women living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and to allow the values and preferences of such women to be considered in the development of new guidelines. Methods A core team created a global reference group of 14 women living with HIV and together they developed a global community online survey. The survey, which contained mandatory and optional questions, was based on an appreciative enquiry approach in which the life-cycle experiences of women living with HIV were investigated. The same set of questions was also used in focus group discussions led by the global reference group. Findings The study covered 945 women (832 in the survey and 113 in the focus groups) aged 15–72 years in 94 countries. Among the respondents to the optional survey questions, 89.0% (427/480) feared or had experienced gender-based violence, 56.7% (177/312) had had an unplanned pregnancy, 72.3% (227/314) had received advice on safe conception and 58.8% (489/832) had suffered poor mental health after they had discovered their HIV-positive status. Conclusion The sexual and reproductive health needs and rights of women living with HIV are complex and require a stronger response from the health sector. The online survey placed the voices of women living with HIV at the start of the development of new global guidelines. Although not possible in some contexts and populations, a similar approach would merit replication in the development of guidelines for many other health considerations. © 2016, Bull World Health Organ. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Institute of Health and Society, University of Teesside, UK Teratology Information Service UKTIS and Institute of Genetic Medicine, Former Trustee of Pregnancy Sickness Support and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: JAMA | Year: 2016

Nausea and vomiting affects approximately 85% of pregnant women. The most severe form, hyperemesis gravidarum, affects up to 3% of women and can have significant adverse physical and psychological sequelae.To summarize current evidence on effective treatments for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and hyperemesis gravidarum.Databases were searched to June 8, 2016. Relevant websites and bibliographies were also searched. Titles and abstracts were assessed independently by 2 reviewers. Results were narratively synthesized; planned meta-analysis was not possible because of heterogeneity and incomplete reporting of findings.Seventy-eight studies (n=8930 participants) were included: 67 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and 11 nonrandomized studies. Evidence from 35 RCTs at low risk of bias indicated that ginger, vitamin B6, antihistamines, metoclopramide (for mild symptoms), pyridoxine-doxylamine, and ondansetron (for moderate symptoms) were associated with improved symptoms compared with placebo. One RCT (n=86) reported greater improvements in moderate symptoms following psychotherapy (change in Rhodes score [range, 0 {no symptoms} to 40 {worst possible symptoms}], 18.76 [SD, 5.48] to 7.06 [SD, 5.79] for intervention vs 19.18 [SD, 5.63] to 12.81 [SD, 6.88] for comparator [P<.001]). For moderate-severe symptoms, 1 RCT (n=60) suggested that pyridoxine-doxylamine combination taken preemptively reduced risk of recurrence of moderate-severe symptoms compared with treatment once symptoms begin (15.4% vs 39.1% [P<.04]). One RCT (n=83) found that ondansetron was associated with lower nausea scores on day 4 than metoclopramide (mean visual analog scale [VAS] score, 4.1 [SD, 2.9] for ondansetron vs 5.7 [SD, 2.3] for metoclopramide [P=.023]) but not episodes of emesis (5.0 [SD, 3.1] vs 3.3 [SD, 3], respectively [P=.013]). Although there was no difference in trend in nausea scores over the 14-day study period, trend in vomiting scores was better in the ondansetron group (P=.042). One RCT (n=159) found no difference between metoclopramide and promethazine after 24 hours (episodes of vomiting, 1 [IQR, 0-5] for metoclopramide vs 2 [IQR, 0-3] for promethazine [P=.81], VAS [0-10 scale] for nausea, 2 [IQR, 1-5] vs 2 [IQR, 1-4], respectively [P=.99]). Three RCTs compared corticosteroids with placebo or promethazine or metoclopramide in women with severe symptoms. Improvements were seen in all corticosteroid groups, but only a significant difference between corticosteroids vs metoclopramide was reported (emesis reduction, 40.9% vs 16.5% at day 2; 71.6% vs 51.2% at day 3; 95.8% vs 76.6% at day 7 [n=40, P<.001]). For other interventions, evidence was limited.For mild symptoms of nausea and emesis of pregnancy, ginger, pyridoxine, antihistamines, and metoclopramide were associated with greater benefit than placebo. For moderate symptoms, pyridoxine-doxylamine, promethazine, and metoclopramide were associated with greater benefit than placebo. Ondansetron was associated with improvement for a range of symptom severity. Corticosteroids may be associated with benefit in severe cases. Overall the quality of evidence was low.


Chappell L.C.,Womens Health Academic Center | Gurung V.,Birmingham City Hospital | Seed P.T.,Womens Health Academic Center | Chambers J.,Imperial College London | And 2 more authors.
BMJ (Online) | Year: 2012

Objectives: To test whether ursodeoxycholic acid reduces pruritus in women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, whether early term delivery does not increase the incidence of caesarean section, and the feasibility of recruiting women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy to trials of these interventions. Design: First phase of a semifactorial randomised controlled trial. Setting: Nine consultant led maternity units, United Kingdom. Participants: 125 women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (pruritus and raised levels of serum bile acids) or pruritus and raised alanine transaminase levels (>100 IU/L) recruited after 24 weeks'gestation and followed until delivery. 56 women were randomised to ursodeoxycholic acid, 55 to placebo, 30 to early term delivery, and 32 to expectant management. Interventions: Ursodeoxycholic acid 500 mg twice daily or placebo increased as necessary for symptomatic or biochemical improvement until delivery; early term delivery (induction or delivery started between 37+0 and 37+6) or expectant management (spontaneous labour awaited until 40 weeks' gestation or caesarean section undertaken by normal obstetric guidelines, usually after 39 weeks' gestation). Main outcome measures: The primary outcome for ursodeoxycholic acid was maternal itch (arithmetic mean of measures (100 mm visual analogue scale) of worst itch in past 24 hours) and for the timing of delivery was caesarean section. Secondary outcomes were other maternal and perinatal outcomes and recruitment rates. Results: Ursodeoxycholic acid reduced itching by -16 mm (95% confidence interval -27 mm to -6 mm), less than the 30 mm difference prespecified by clinicians and women as clinically meaningful. 32% (14/44) of women randomised to ursodeoxycholic acid experienced a reduction in worst itching by at least 30 mm compared with 16% (6/37) randomised to placebo. The difference of 16% (95% confidence interval -3 to 34); this would represent a number needed to treat of 6, but it failed to reach significance. Early term delivery did not increase caesarean sections (7/30 (23%) in the early term delivery group versus 11/32 (33%) in the expectant management group (relative risk 0.70, 95% confidence interval 0.31 to 1.57). No serious harms were noted in either trial. 22% (73/325) of eligible women participated in the drug trial and 19% (39/209) in the timing of delivery trial; both groups had a similar spectrum of disease severity to non-participants. Conclusions: Ursodeoxycholic acid significantly reduces pruritus, but the size of the benefit may be too small for most doctors to recommend it, or for most women to want to take it. Women are, however, likely to differ in whether they consider the benefit to be worthwhile. Planned early term delivery seems not to increase incidence of caesarean section, although a small increase cannot be excluded. A trial to test whether ursodeoxycholic acid reduces adverse perinatal outcomes would have to be large, but is feasible. A trial to test the effect of early term delivery on adverse fetal outcomes would have to be significantly larger and may not be feasible. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN37730443.


Devito L.,Womens Health Academic Center | Petrova A.,Womens Health Academic Center | Miere C.,Womens Health Academic Center | Codognotto S.,Womens Health Academic Center | And 6 more authors.
Stem Cells Translational Medicine | Year: 2014

Standardization guidelines for human pluripotent stem cells are still very broadly defined, despite ongoing clinical trials in the U.S., U.K., and Japan. The requirements for validation ofhumanembryonic (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in general follow the regulations for other clinically compliant biologics already in place but without addressing key differences between cell types or final products. In order to realize the full potential of stem cell therapy, validation criteria, methodology, and, most importantly, strategy, should address the shortfalls and efficiency of current approaches; without this, hESC- and, especially, iPSC-based therapy will not be able to compete with other technologies in a cost-efficient way. We addressed the protocols for testing cell lines for human viral pathogens and propose a novel strategy that would significantly reduce costs. It is highly unlikely that the multiple cell lines derived in parallel from a tissue sample taken from one donor would have different profiles of endogenous viral pathogens; we therefore argue that samples from the Master Cell Banks of sibling lines could be safely pooled for validation. We illustrate this approach with tiered validation of two sibling clinical-grade hESC lines, KCL033 and KCL034 (stage 1, sterility; stage 2, specific human pathogens; and stage 3, nonspecific human pathogens). The results of all tests were negative. This cost-effective strategy could also be applied for validation of Master Cell Banks of multiple clinical-grade iPSC lines derived from a single donor. © 2014, AlphaMed Press.


Min J.,Womens Health Academic Center | Watson H.A.,Womens Health Academic Center | Hezelgrave N.L.,Womens Health Academic Center | Seed P.T.,Womens Health Academic Center | Shennan A.H.,Womens Health Academic Center
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2016

Objective: To identify whether preterm surveillance clinics (PSCs) risk-stratify high-risk women accurately by comparing outcomes of those admitted to hospital on the basis of asymptomatic testing with those not admitted. Methods: We performed a subanalysis from a larger prospective cohort study on sonographic cervical length, quantitative fetal fibronectin (qfFN) and risk of spontaneous preterm birth. We identified 1130 asymptomatic singleton pregnancies at high risk of preterm birth, screened between 23 and 28 weeks of gestation at a PSC in a tertiary hospital in London, UK. Gestational age at delivery, the proportion of preterm births that delivered < 30 weeks and neonatal outcomes were compared between women admitted electively when asymptomatic as a consequence of screening-test results and those who were not routinely admitted. Results: In total, 66 (6%) women attending the PSC were admitted to hospital following asymptomatic screening (inpatient group). The mean gestational age at delivery for those not admitted electively (outpatient group) was at term and was significantly higher than that of those admitted from PSC (38.4 vs 31.2 weeks; P < 0.0001). Preterm birth < 30 weeks’ gestation was rare in the outpatient group relative to those admitted (1.32% vs 36.4%; P < 0.0001). Neonatal mortality was 0.188% in the outpatient group compared with 4.55% in those admitted electively (P < 0.0001). The incidence of other complications such as neonatal death, 5-min Apgar score < 7, special care baby unit/neonatal intensive care unit admission, respiratory distress syndrome, intraventricular hemorrhage and low birth weight were significantly lower in those managed as outpatients than in those admitted electively. Conclusion: PSCs measuring cervical length and qfFN accurately triage asymptomatic high-risk pregnant women, enabling those at highest risk of adverse outcome to be identified for elective admission to hospital and appropriate management. Copyright © 2016 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. © 2016 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


PubMed | Womens Health Academic Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Clinical medicine (London, England) | Year: 2016

The prevalence of medical problems in pregnancy is increasing because of a complex interplay between demographic and lifestyle factors, and developments in modern medicine. Maternal mortality and morbidity resulting from treatable medical conditions, such as venous thromboembolism, epilepsy and autoimmune disease, have not decreased in recent years. This is despite a marked decrease in overall maternal mortality. It is vital that all physicians acquire a basic knowledge and understanding of medical problems in pregnancy. This includes prepregnancy measures such as counselling and optimisation of medical therapy, as well as multidisciplinary management throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period. Prompt recognition and treatment of acute and chronic illness is of clear benefit, and most drugs and many radiological investigations may be used in pregnancy.

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