COVID-19 Infection and Placental Histopathology in Women Delivering at Term
BACKGROUND:- There is a paucity of data describing the effects of COVID-19, especially in asymptomatic patients, on placental pathology. Although the pathophysiology of COVID-19 is not completely understood, there is emerging evidence that it causes a severe systemic inflammatory response and results in a hypercoagulable state with widespread microthrombi. We hypothesized that it is plausible that a similar disease process may occur in the fetal-maternal unit. OBJECTIVE:- The aim of this study was to determine whether COVID-19 in term patients admitted to Labor and Delivery, including women without COVID-19 symptomatology, is associated with increased placental injury compared to a cohort of COVID-19 negative controls. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:- This was a retrospective cohort study performed at NYU Winthrop Hospital between 3/31/2020 and 6/17/2020. During the study period all women admitted to Labor and Delivery were routinely tested for SARS-CoV-2 regardless of symptomatology. The placental histopathological findings of COVID-19 patients (n=77) who delivered a singleton gestation at term were compared to a control group of term patients without COVID-19 (n=56). Controls were excluded if they had obstetric or medical complications including fetal growth restriction, oligohydramnios, hypertension, diabetes, coagulopathy or thrombophilia. Multivariable logistic regression models were performed for variables that were significant in univariable analyses. A subgroup analysis was also performed comparing asymptomatic COVID-19 cases to negative controls. RESULTS:- In univariable analyses, COVID-19 cases were more likely to have evidence of fetal vascular malperfusion, i.e. presence of avascular villi and/or mural fibrin deposition (32.5% (25/77) vs. 3.6% (2/56), p<0.0001) and villitis of unknown etiology (20.8% (16/77) vs. 7.1% (4/56), p=0.030). These findings persisted in a subgroup analysis of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases compared to COVID-19 negative controls. In a multivariable model adjusting for maternal age, race/ethnicity, mode of delivery, preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction and oligohydramnios, the frequency of fetal vascular malperfusion abnormalities remained significantly higher in the COVID-19 group (OR= 12.63, 95% CI [2.40, 66.40]). While the frequency of villitis of unknown etiology was more than double in COVID-19 cases compared to controls, this did not reach statistical significance in a similar multivariable model (OR=2.11, 95% CI [0.50, 8.97]). All neonates of mothers with COVID-19 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR. CONCLUSIONS:- Despite the fact that all neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 were negative for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR, we found that COVID-19 in term patients admitted to Labor and Delivery is associated with increased rates of placental histopathologic abnormalities, particularly fetal vascular malperfusion and villitis of unknown etiology. These findings appear to occur even among asymptomatic term patients.
Software-guided insulin dosing improves intrapartum glycemic management in women with diabetes mellitus
BACKGROUND:During labor, maintenance of maternal euglycemia is critical to decrease the risk of neonatal hypoglycemia and associated morbidities. When continuous intravenous insulin infusion is needed, standardized insulin dosing charts have been used for titration of insulin to maintain glucose in target range. The GlucoStabilizer software program (Indiana University Health Inc, Indianapolis, IN) is a software-guided insulin dosing system that calculates the dose of intravenous insulin that is needed based on metabolic parameters, target glucose concentration, and an individual's response to insulin. Although this tool has been validated and shown to reduce both hypoglycemia and errors in critical care settings, the utility of this software has not been examined in obstetrics. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study was to determine whether the use of intravenous insulin dosing software in women with pregestational or gestational diabetes mellitus that requires intrapartum insulin infusion can improve the rate of glucose concentration in target range (70-100 mg/dL; 3.9-5.5 mmol/L) at the time delivery. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:We performed a retrospective cohort study comparing laboring patients with diabetes mellitus that required insulin infusion who were dosed by standard insulin dosing chart vs the GlucoStabilizer software program from January 2012 to December 2017. The GlucoStabilizer software program, which was implemented in May 2016, replaced the standard intravenous insulin dosing chart. Inclusion criteria were women with pregestational or gestational diabetes mellitus who were treated with an intravenous insulin infusion intrapartum for at least 2 hours. Maternal characteristics, glucose values in labor, and neonatal outcomes were extracted from delivery and neonatal records. The primary outcome was the percentage of women who achieved the target glucose range (defined as a blood glucose between 70-100 mg/dL; 3.9-5.5 mmol/L) before delivery. Parametric and nonparametric statistics were used to compare both groups; a probability value of <.05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS:We identified 22 patients who were dosed by a standard insulin dosing chart and 11 patients who were dosed by the GlucoStabilizer software program during intrapartum management. The GlucoStabilizer software program was superior in achieving glucose values in target range at delivery (81.8% vs 9.1%; P<.001) compared with standard insulin dosing without increasing maternal hypoglycemia (0% vs 4.3%; P=.99). Patients whose insulin dosing was managed by the GlucoStabilizer software program also had lower mean capillary blood glucose values compared with the standard insulin infusion (102.9Â±5.9 mg/dL [5.7Â±0.33 mmol/L] vs 121.7Â±5.9 mg/dL [6.8Â±0.33 mmol/L]; P=.02). Before the initiation of the infusion, both groups demonstrated mean capillary blood glucose values outside of target range (122.6Â±8.8 mg/dL [6.7Â±0.49 mmol/L] for the GlucoStabilizer software program vs 131.9Â±10.1 mg/dL [7.3Â±0.56 mmol/L] for standard insulin treatment group; P=not significant). There were no significant differences in baseline maternal characteristics between the groups or neonatal outcomes. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:This study is the first to demonstrate that the use of software-guided intravenous insulin dosing in obstetrics can improve intrapartum glycemic management without increasing hypoglycemia in women with both pregestational and gestational diabetes mellitus that is treated with an insulin infusion.
Does cervical cerclage decrease preterm birth in twin pregnancies with a short cervix?
PURPOSE: To determine if use of cerclage in twin gestations with mid-trimester short cervix is associated with decreased preterm birth rate. STUDY DESIGN: This is a retrospective cohort of twin gestations identified with cervical length of =2.5 cm before 24 weeks of gestation through the perinatal ultrasound database of two institutions from 2008 to 2014. Patients with and without cerclage were compared for a primary outcome of preterm birth at <35 weeks. A pre-planned sub-group analysis of patients with cervical length =1.5 cm was also performed. RESULTS: Eighty-two patients were included; 43 received cerclage, 39 did not. Mean gestational age at cerclage placement was 20.8 weeks. There was no significant difference in rate of preterm birth <35 weeks between the groups (34.9% versus 48.7%, respectively). In the sub-group analysis of patients with cervical length =1.5 cm, there was a significant decreased risk of preterm birth <35 weeks [37% versus 71.4%; adjusted RR 0.49 (0.26-0.93)]. CONCLUSION: Cerclage placement for cervical length =2.5 cm in twin gestations did not decrease the rate of preterm birth at <35 weeks; however, cerclage placement for cervical length =1.5 cm was associated with a significantly decreased rate of preterm birth <35 weeks when compared to patients managed without cerclage.
Standardization of intrapartum glycemic management in women with gestational diabetes improves neonatal outcomes [Meeting Abstract]
The use of a GlucoStabilizer software program improves intrapartum glycemic control in women with pre-gestational and gestational diabetes requiring an insulin infusion [Meeting Abstract]
The use of cervical sonography to differentiate true from false labor in term patients presenting for labor check
BACKGROUND: Cervical length by transvaginal ultrasound to predict preterm labor is widely used in clinical practice. Virtually no data exist on cervical length measurement to differentiate true from false labor in term patients who present for labor check. False-positive diagnosis of true labor at term may lead to unnecessary hospital admissions, obstetrical interventions, resource utilization, and cost. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine if cervical length by transvaginal ultrasound can differentiate true from false labor in term patients presenting for labor check. STUDY DESIGN: This is a prospective observational study of women presenting to labor and delivery with labor symptoms at 37-42 weeks, singleton cephalic gestation, regular uterine contractions (>/=4/20 min), intact membranes, and cervix =4 cm dilated and =80% effaced. Those patients with placenta previa and indications for immediate delivery were excluded. The shortest best cervical length of 3 collected images was used for analysis. Providers managing labor were blinded to the cervical length. True labor was defined as spontaneous rupture of membranes or spontaneous cervical dilation >/=4 cm and >/=80% effaced within 24 hours of cervical length measurement. In the absence of these outcomes, labor status was determined as false labor. Receiver operating characteristic curves were generated to assess the predictive ability of cervical length to differentiate true from false labor and were analyzed separately for primiparous and multiparous patients. The diagnostic accuracies of various cervical length cutoffs were determined. The relationship of cervical length and time to delivery was also analyzed including both use and nonuse of oxytocin. RESULTS: In all, 77 patients were included in the study; the prevalence of true labor was 58.4% (45/77). Patients who were in true labor had shorter cervical length as compared to those in false labor: median 1.3 cm (range 0.5-4.1) vs 2.4 cm (range 1.0-5.0), respectively (P < .001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for primiparous patients was 0.88 (P < .001) and for multiparous patients was 0.76 (P < .01), both demonstrating good correlation. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curves were not significantly different between primiparous and multiparous (P = .23). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for primiparous and multiparous patients combined was 0.8 (P < .0001), indicating a good overall correlation between cervical length and its ability to differentiate true from false labor. Overall, a cervical length cutoff of =1.5 cm to predict true labor had the highest specificity (81%), positive predictive value (83%), and positive likelihood ratio (4.2). There were no differences in cervical length prediction between primiparous and multiparous patients. Cervical length was positively correlated with time to delivery, regardless of the use of oxytocin. CONCLUSION: In differentiating true from false labor in term patients who present for labor check, a cervical length of =1.5 cm was the most clinically optimal cutoff with the lowest false positive rate-due to its highest specificity-and highest positive predictive value and positive likelihood ratios. Its use to decide admission in patients at term with labor symptoms may prevent unnecessary admissions, obstetrical interventions, resource utilization, and cost.
Ultrasound-Guided Retrieval and Position Replacement of a Dislodged Fetal Pleuro-Amniotic Shunt: A Novel Approach for a Known Complication of Feto-Amniotic Shunting [Case Report]
Untreated fetal pleural effusion can cause significant perinatal morbidity and mortality. Treatment of pleural effusions with pleuro-amniotic shunting has been shown to improve outcomes. Pleuro-amniotic shunting is associated with complications including ruptured membranes, preterm labor and shunt dislodgement into either the amniotic cavity or the fetal thorax. Shunt dislodgement into the thoracic cavity can cause prenatal complications from the shunt itself or may necessitate neonatal surgery for removal. We present a case where a novel ultrasound-guided technique was used to replace the dislodged pleural shunt in utero, thereby effectively draining the effusion while simultaneously obviating the need for neonatal surgery and decreasing possible perinatal complications.
Practice patterns in the timing of antenatal corticosteroids for fetal lung maturity
OBJECTIVE: To determine the practice patterns of antenatal corticosteroid (AS) administration in women with threatened preterm labor. METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort of patients who received betamethasone between 2009 and 2010, identified through a pharmacy database. Patients with high order multiples; incomplete records and indicated preterm delivery were excluded. Demographic and obstetrical factors were compared between women with an AS to delivery latency of =7 days versus >7 days. Parametric and non-parametric tests were used as appropriate. p < 0.05 denotes statistical significance; relative risks with 95% confidence intervals were calculated. RESULTS: Three-hundred forty-five patients were included. Sixty-eight patients (20%) received AS within 7 days of delivery. Women who received AS =7 days before delivery (optimal timing) were more likely to have a transvaginal cervical length =2 cm (RR:2.53, CI: 1.2-5.6), cervical dilation >/=2 cm (RR: 3.86, CI: 2.7-5.6) and positive fFN (RR: 2.59, CI: 1.1-6.3). Preterm premature ruptured membranes were also associated with optimal timing of AS (RR: 4.86, CI: 3.4-6.8). CONCLUSIONS: Eighty percent of patients receive suboptimal timing of AS administration. Factors associated with suboptimal timing are: cervical length >2 cm, cervical dilation <2 cm and negative fFN. Cervical assessment should be a key factor in the decision for AS administration. More research is needed for accurate timing of AS in women with threatened preterm labor.
The timing of administration of antenatal corticosteroids in women with indicated preterm birth
OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the timing of administration of antenatal corticosteroids (AS) for indicated preterm births and to identify which indications are associated with the most optimal timing of administration. STUDY DESIGN: This was a retrospective cohort of patients who received AS in anticipation of indicated preterm birth from 2009 through 2012 at Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, NY. Medical records of patients who received AS, as identified through the hospital pharmacy database, were reviewed. Patients were included if they had a singleton or twin gestation and they received AS for maternal or fetal indications. Women were excluded if they received AS for spontaneous preterm labor or preterm rupture of membranes. Maternal demographic and obstetrical characteristics were compared between those who received AS=7 days vs >7 days from delivery using parametric and nonparametric tests with relative risks and 95% confidence intervals. P<.05 was considered significant. RESULTS: In all, 193 patients were included in this study. Median latency from AS administration to delivery was 9 days (range, 0-83); 93 patients (48%) received AS within 7 days of delivery. There were no significant differences between the 2 groups with regards to baseline maternal characteristics. Those delivering within 7 days of AS administration were more likely to have maternal vs fetal indications (84% vs 16%). CONCLUSION: Only 48% of patients with an indication for preterm birth received AS within 7 days of its administration. AS appear to be more optimally timed in the presence of maternal rather than fetal indications.
Does cervical cerclage decrease preterm birth in twin pregnancies with a short cervix? [Meeting Abstract]