[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the initial experience at our centre in the treatment of monochorionic twin pregnancies complicated by twin reversed arterial perfusion sequence (TRAP), using radiofrequency ablation (RFA) with expandable needles, and to review the existing literature on the subject. STUDY DESIGN: Between July 2007 and October 2010, 11 monochorionic twin pregnancies complicated by TRAP were referred to our centre. Seven patients underwent intrafetal ablation of the acardiac twin with RFA using LeVeen™ expandable needle electrodes. Data on the procedures and the obstetric outcome were reviewed, and subsequently we performed a review of the literature on the use of RFA in TRAP. RESULTS: Median gestational age at the intervention was 17(+3) weeks (range 14(+1)-23(+1) weeks). Technical success was obtained in all cases. Preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROMs) occurred in 4/7 (57%) patients. Intrauterine death of the pump twin occurred in one patient at 21(+5) weeks, and one patient opted for termination of pregnancy because of PPROM at 21(+4) weeks. Five fetuses were delivered alive at a median gestational age of 33(+0) weeks (range 31(+0)-39(+5) weeks). All five infants (71%) were alive and had a normal examination at 6 months of age. The review identified 6 studies, for a total of 78 pregnancies (either monochorionc twins or triplets with a monochorionic component). Including our data, overall neonatal survival was 75/88 (85%). CONCLUSION: RFA appears to be a relatively safe and reliable technique in the treatment of TRAP sequence pregnancies. Further research is needed to define the best timing of the procedure.
European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology 10/2012; · 1.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ex utero Intrapartum Treatment (EXIT) is a technique to secure the fetal airway while oxygenation is maintained through utero-placental circulation. The aim of the study is to present three cases of fetal lymphatic malformation of the head and neck that required EXIT and to summarize EXIT details.
The cases were studied before the delivery and EXIT was planned with a multidisciplinary team. The key factors of EXIT are considered and the type, stage and clinical score of the three lymphatic malformations are defined.
In the three cases of EXIT the time working on placental support to secure the airway was 9, 7, and 9 min, respectively (from the hysterotomy to clamping the umbilical cord). Procedures performed on the airway were laryngo-tracheo-bronchoscopy in the first case, laryngoscopy and intubation in the second one, laryngoscopy, drainage of the lymphatic macro-cyst, and intubation in the third case. A sketching to detail the EXIT steps are presented: EXIT-Team Time Procedure list (EXIT-TTP list). Lymphatic malformations were classified as mixed (micro/macro-cystic) in two cases, and macro-cystic in one. de Serres Stage was IV, V and II. Therapy varied in the three neonates (surgery alone, surgery+Picibanil+Nd-YAG, or Picibanil alone).
In case of prenatal suspicion of airway obstruction, EXIT should be planned with a multidisciplinary team. The EXIT-Team Time Procedure list (EXIT-TTP list), reviews the most critical phases of the procedure when different teams are working together. The type of lymphatic malformation, the anatomic location and the clinical score predict the outcome.
International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology 11/2011; 76(1):20-7. · 0.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess the interobserver reproducibility of transabdominal 3-dimensional (3D) fetal neurosonography.
This was a prospective observational study. We studied 23 consecutive singleton pregnancies between 18 and 23 weeks' gestation. All cases had normal fetal neurosonographic examination findings, which were confirmed after birth. A 3D sonographic volume of the fetal head was acquired transabdominally by a single operator using an axial approach. Fetal brain anatomy was later analyzed offline by 2 different operators. Axial, sagittal, and coronal views of the fetal brain were obtained to perform a detailed evaluation of the fetal brain. Each operator defined the scanning planes obtained as adequate or inadequate. Results were evaluated with 2 x 2 tables and the Cohen kappa coefficient to assess interobserver agreement.
Good-quality multiplanar images were obtained in 23 of 23 cases. The rate of adequate visualization was 100% for all of the axial planes, with kappa values of 1.00. For sagittal and coronal planes, the rate of visualization ranged between 78% and 91%, with kappa values ranging between 0.61 and 0.83.
Transabdominal 3D sonography of the fetal brain at 18 to 23 weeks' gestation has an acceptable degree of interobserver reproducibility.
Journal of ultrasound in medicine: official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 09/2009; 28(8):1009-13. · 1.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a case of monochorionic twin pregnancy complicated by twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) diagnosed in the late second trimester and treated with two amnioreductions. Three days after the first amniodrainage, the recipient twin developed intracranial ventriculomegaly and, similarly, after a few days, the donor showed signs of brain damage at MRI. We discuss the possible mechanism of brain damage of amnioreductions performed after 26 weeks of gestation in a monochorionic pregnancy with TTTS as a result of a placental 'steal' phenomenon.
Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy 05/2009; 25(2):203-5. · 1.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to investigate cerebral and cardiac volume flow modifications in a group of preterm severely growth restricted (GR) fetuses with absent end diastolic flow (AEDF) in the umbilical artery.
Doppler indices of GR fetuses born at less than 32 weeks of gestation with AEDF in umbilical artery were longitudinally analyzed. Ductus venosus S/A, umbilical artery PI, middle cerebral artery (MCA) pulsatility index (PI), MCA volume flow and intracardiac flows were checked daily. The value of volume flow was determined by multiplying the vessel area obtained by means of a power angiography by the integral of the velocimetric curve. In Group 1 the time of delivery was decided when abnormal Doppler index in ductus venosus (S/A>3) was detected. In Group 2, decisions about delivery were based on maternal indications or on various cardiotocographic (CTG) abnormalities. The division in the two groups was made with a retrospective method.
Fifteen GR fetuses were studied: seven cases entered Group 1 and eight cases Group 2. In Group 2 velocimetric (PI) and quantitative (volume flow) values remained stable until delivery. In all cases in Group 1 ductus venosus anomalies (S/A>3) were preceded by 24 hours by cerebral volume flow indices indicating the loss of MCA vasodilatation and by changes in intracardiac volume flow indices, while the PI increase in MCA was present only 24 hours after the changes detected by the volume flow study and were simultaneous to ductus venosus modifications.
The decrease in volume flow through the middle cerebral artery occurs at least 24 hours before the increase of middle cerebral artery PI and before the ductus venosus anomalies. Flow through the four cardiac valves show modification in agreement to the changes of the middle cerebral artery flow.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The number of patients affected by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that decide to have children has greatly increased probably because of recent improvements in the diagnosis and management of the disease. This has stimulated our interest in defining the outcome of children, focusing both on neonatal problems and long term development. SLE patients still carry a risk of pregnancy loss. However, due to careful monitoring and treatment by a multidisciplinary team, the number of losses has dramatically decreased, but an increased number of preterm deliveries is still a problem. Neonatal lupus is linked to the presence of anti-Ro/SS-A and anti-La/SS-B antibodies in the mother, although other factors probably of fetal origin are important. Neonatal lupus is a complex condition whose most serious manifestation is the congenital heart block (CHB). Usually, children with complete CHB need permanent pacing, but apparently do not have neuropsychological problems. Studies focusing on the neuropsychological development of SLE offspring show an increased number of learning disabilities in children with normal intelligence levels. Fetal consequence of maternal treatment need to be considered choosing non teratogenic drugs, but the withdrawal of medications just because the patient is pregnant should be avoided to avoid SLE flares.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: If a woman suffers from autoimmune disease (AD), several factors can affect pregnancy or neonatal outcome: repeated spontaneous pregnancy losses (frequently related to antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL)), neonatal lupus with complete congenital heart block (CHB) (linked to transplacental passage of IgG anti Ro/SS-A antibodies) and the disease activity itself that can affect the mother, the pregnancy and fetal outcome. If appropriately managed, the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is "one of the few tractable causes of pregnancy losses." A recent case control study, on babies from APS-mothers and healthy mothers, did not show any difference in the occurrence of neonatal complications. There are few data about the long-term outcome of babies born to patients with AD. We recently reported increased occurrence of learning disabilities in children born to aPL positive mothers with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The modern management of pregnancy in patients with AD includes the treatment of disease flares, using drugs effective but safe for fetus. Corticosteroids and some immunosuppressive drugs can be used in pregnancy to control maternal disease. A prolonged fetal exposure to dexamethasone was reported to impair cerebral development, but we recently studied 6 children, born to patients treated with dexamathasone because of CHB, showing a normal intelligence quotient. The last 10-year experience shows that fetal exposure to antimalarial drugs should not be regarded as an important risk factor for gestational nor neonatal complications. However, information about long-term outcome of children exposed to immunosuppressive drugs "in utero" are still lacking and more efforts are needed in this research area.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe the natural history of pyelectasis from its detection in the second trimester to delivery, its capability to predict renal pathology and whether prenatal development of pelvic dilatation is correlated to its postnatal evolution.
A retrospective analysis involving 375 fetuses with a complete urological follow-up. Prenatal ultrasound was correlated with the results of postnatal investigation and frequency of postnatal surgery was established.
Two-hundred and eighty cases underwent at least two examinations before birth. 73.1% were male fetuses. 57.4% had a bilateral pyelectasis. Prenatal evolution of pelvic dilatation was the following:18.6% of the cases normalized, in 34.6% of the cases the dilatation reduced but did not disappear, in 30.7% it remained unchanged, while it worsened in 16.4%. One case from the first group, three cases from the second, seven cases from the third and 11 cases from the fourth needed surgical treatment. 1.9, 7.2, 18.6, 23.9% of cases respectively worsened after birth in the four groups (trend: P=0.001).
Prenatal diagnosis of pyelectasis improves the outcome of these children due to a surgical approach that avoids renal damage. There is a good correlation between prenatal evolution and postnatal outcome, although a postnatal follow-up is opportune in those cases that normalized before birth.
European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 03/2005; 118(2):154-9. · 1.84 Impact Factor