February 2014

UCD Success at JOGS 2013

Mon, 3 February 14 10:00

Two students from the UCD Centre for Human Reproduction took first and second place in the highly competitive 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Junior Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society of Ireland.  Both winners, Dr Thomas McCartan and Dr Aoife Keating are currently MD students with Prof Michael Turner (UCD Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology) at Coombe Women’s & Infants’ University Hospital. 

Dr McCartan’s research examined the relationship between haematological parameters in the first trimester of pregnancy and maternal adiposity in healthy volunteers.  Dr Keating conducted a national audit of neural tube defects in Ireland over a two year period.  Dr Grace Neville (National Maternity Hospital) was awarded the Clinic Medal for her study into a preterm surveillance clinic established at NMH in March 2012 to provide expert management of those at risk of preterm birth. Our congratulations to all three winners who emerged from a strong competition of 120 research studies.

The Full blood count and its relationship with Maternal Body Composition

Thomas McCartan, UCD Centre for Human Reproduction (First Prize)

This study examined the relationship between haematological parameters in the first trimester of pregnancy and maternal adiposity in healthy volunteers.

Following bioelectrical impedance analysis, height measurements and blood count analysis, the authors’ concluded a strong correlation between increased white blood cell counts and raised material visceral fat and fat mass. Current smoking was also associated with an increase in the mean total WCC.

As caring for pregnant women with obesity presents a major challenge in the clinic today, this study further recognises the condition as a state of low-grade inflammation.

 

An Audit of Neural Tube Defects in the Republic of Ireland 2009 -2011

Aoife McKeating, UCD Centre for Human Reproduction- Second Prize

This national audit assessed the epidemiology and clinical outcomes of Neural Tube Defect cases, including anencephaly, spina bifida and encephalocoele, between 2009 and 2011 in Ireland.

236 NTD cases were identified over this time period, 1.04/1000 births, an increase from a 2005-2006 report indicating a rate of 0.92/1000.

Maternal folic acid administration was then assessed, which revealed 14.5% had not taken folic acid, 13.7% had taken it pre-conception, while 49.2% had taken it post-conception. The association between Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) and maternal folic acid deficiency has long been established. Despite this, mandatory food fortification with folic acid has not been introduced in Ireland.

This study highlights the need for a review of public health policies and practices on folic acid supplementation.

 

Impact of Expert Surveillance Clinic on Incidence of Preterm Birth

Grace Neville, National Maternity Hospital (Awarded the Clinch medal)

A preterm surveillance clinic was established in March 2012 to provide expert management of those at risk of preterm birth at the National Maternity Hospital. This investigation focused on the epidemiology, antenatal course and outcomes of those who attended the clinic in the first year of its operation.

Attendees included those with a previous preterm birth, previous cervical surgery, known uterine anomaly and previous need for cervical suture

75.59% progressed past a gestation of 34+0, 16.67% delivered between 24+0 and 33+6 weeks and 7.41% suffered mid trimester losses.

91.7% of those who delivered preterm were having active intervention prior to delivery in contrast to 33.33% who progressed to term.

Since establishment of the clinic, the overall incidence of preterm birth in the NMH has decreased. This study reinforces the impact of secondary management on preterm birth rates for those in at risk groups.