Special Issue "High-Risk Pregnancy"

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1648-9144). This special issue belongs to the section "Obstetrics and Gynecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Anca Maria Panaitescu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
Interests: fetal medicine; maternal medicine; obstetrics; multiple pregnancies; intrauterine surgery
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Nicolae Gica
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
Interests: postpartum hemorrhage; emergency peripartum hysterectomy; abnormal placentation; emergency C section; operative vaginal delivery

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The fields of pregnancy care and obstetrics have evolved rapidly in the last few decades consequent to quality research being undertaken. Pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum are now safer than ever, with high-risk conditions being early anticipated and managed.

The aim of this Special Issue of Medicina is to explore the current advances in the field of obstetrics, including maternal morbidity and mortality, short and long-term outcomes after complicated pregnancy, maternal disease, fetal abnormalities, intrapartum complications, management of pregnancies following assisted reproductive techniques and twin pregnancies. Submission of unpublished original studies is welcome, including fundamental and clinical research studies, observational and interventional studies, randomized controlled trials and reviews, with an emphasis on relevant clinical questions and quantitative syntheses (meta-analyses) of pooled data. Authors are invited to contact the Editorial Team in advance if they require assistance for the preparation of their manuscript.    

Dr. Anca Maria Panaitescu
Dr. Nicolae Gica
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Medicina is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • maternal disease
  • fetal abnormalities
  • twin pregnancy
  • outcomes of complicated pregnancy
  • clinical implementation
  • assisted reproductive techniques
  • high-risk pregnancy
  • postpartum hemorrhage
  • emergency peripartum hysterectomy
  • abnormal placentation
  • operative vaginal delivery

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Influence of Maternal Obesity on Cell-Free Fetal DNA and Blood Pressure Regulation in Pregnancies with Hypertensive Disorders
Medicina 2021, 57(9), 962; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57090962 - 12 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: obesity and blood pressure disorders are one of the main risk factors for antenatal, intra, postpartum, and neonatal complications. In preeclampsia (PE), the placental hypoxia leads to vascular endothelium dysfunction, cell necrosis, and apoptosis. This condition is associated with the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: obesity and blood pressure disorders are one of the main risk factors for antenatal, intra, postpartum, and neonatal complications. In preeclampsia (PE), the placental hypoxia leads to vascular endothelium dysfunction, cell necrosis, and apoptosis. This condition is associated with the release of free fetal DNA (cffDNA) circulating in plasma. The disturbance of the efficiency of vasodilatation and blood pressure regulation in PE can be confirmed by analyzing the apelin, salusin, and prosalusin. This study aimed to assess the influence of obesity on cffDNA, and the effectiveness of maintaining normal blood pressure in patients with preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. Material and Methods: the research material was blood serum and oral mucosa swabs, obtained from 168 patients. Pregnant women were divided into the following: a control group (C)—67 women; a gestational hypertension group (GH)—35 patients; a preeclampsia with obesity group (PE + O) (pre-gravid BMI > 30)—23 patients. The rest were lean preeclamptic women (PE)—66 patients—(pre-gravid BMI < 25 in 43 women). Results: the cffDNA was observed in 1.50% of women in the C group, in 2.45% in the GH group, but in 18.18% of lean patients with preeclampsia. The cffDNA was detected in 58% of obese pregnant women with PE. The greater the placental hypoxia was in preeclampsia, the less efficient the hypotensive mechanisms, according to an analysis of the studied adipokines. The prosalusin concentration was significantly lower in the PE group with cffDNA than in the PE group without it (p = 0.008). Apelin was higher in the PE group with cffDNA (p = 0.006) compared to other groups. The same results were also observed in the subgroup with obesity. Conclusion: in preeclamptic women, obesity seems to act as an additive factor of placental damage by means of the dysregulation of hypotensive mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Risk Pregnancy)
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Review

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Review
Pregnancy Complications Can Foreshadow Future Disease—Long-Term Outcomes of a Complicated Pregnancy
Medicina 2021, 57(12), 1320; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57121320 - 01 Dec 2021
Viewed by 178
Abstract
During gestation, the maternal body should increase its activity to fulfil the demands of the developing fetus as pregnancy progresses. Each maternal organ adapts in a unique manner and at a different time during pregnancy. In an organ or system that was already [...] Read more.
During gestation, the maternal body should increase its activity to fulfil the demands of the developing fetus as pregnancy progresses. Each maternal organ adapts in a unique manner and at a different time during pregnancy. In an organ or system that was already vulnerable before pregnancy, the burden of pregnancy can trigger overt clinical manifestations. After delivery, symptoms usually reside; however, in time, because of the age-related metabolic and pro-atherogenic changes, they reappear. Therefore, it is believed that pregnancy acts as a medical stress test for mothers. Pregnancy complications such as gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes mellitus foreshadow cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes later in life. Affected women are encouraged to modify their lifestyle after birth by adjusting their diet and exercise habits. Blood pressure and plasmatic glucose level checking are recommended so that early therapeutic intervention can reduce long-term morbidity. Currently, the knowledge of the long-term consequences in women who have had pregnancy-related syndromes is still incomplete. A past obstetric history may, however, be useful in determining the risk of diseases later in life and allow timely intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Risk Pregnancy)
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Review
Fetal Surveillance in Pregnancies with Myasthenia Gravis
Medicina 2021, 57(11), 1277; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57111277 - 20 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune condition, that commonly impacts adult women of reproductive age. Myasthenia gravis in pregnancy is rare, but the incidence is higher in different geographical areas. Pregnancies in mothers with MG can have an unfortunate outcome. Acetylcholine receptor antibodies [...] Read more.
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune condition, that commonly impacts adult women of reproductive age. Myasthenia gravis in pregnancy is rare, but the incidence is higher in different geographical areas. Pregnancies in mothers with MG can have an unfortunate outcome. Acetylcholine receptor antibodies may pass into the fetal circulation and can affect the fetal neuromuscular junction, generating transient MG or even fetal arthrogryposis. The 2016 and 2021 International Consensus Guidance for Management of Myasthenia Gravis issued by Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America is lacking in recommendation for fetal surveillance for pregnancies in women with MG. The aim of this paper is to highlight fetal and neonatal complications in mothers with MG and to offer antenatal care insights. Close maternal and pregnancy monitoring can improve pregnancy outcome. Patients with MG should be encouraged to conceive, to avoid triggers for exacerbations of the disease during pregnancy and a multidisciplinary team should be established to ensure the optimal support and therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Risk Pregnancy)
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Other

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Systematic Review
Maternal and Fetal Outcomes after Prior Mid-Trimester Uterine Rupture: A Systematic Review with Our Experience
Medicina 2021, 57(12), 1294; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57121294 - 24 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Since spontaneous uterine rupture in the mid-trimester is rare, maternal and fetal outcomes in subsequent pregnancies remain unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the maternal and fetal outcomes of subsequent pregnancies after prior mid-trimester uterine rupture. Materials and [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Since spontaneous uterine rupture in the mid-trimester is rare, maternal and fetal outcomes in subsequent pregnancies remain unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the maternal and fetal outcomes of subsequent pregnancies after prior mid-trimester uterine rupture. Materials and Methods: A systematic review using PubMed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Scopus until 30 September 2021, was conducted in compliance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The studies that clarified the maternal and fetal outcomes after prior mid-trimester uterine rupture and our case (n = 1) were included in the analysis. Results: Among the eligible cases, there were five women with eight subsequent pregnancies after prior mid-trimester uterine rupture. The timing of prior mid-trimester uterine rupture ranged from 15 to 26 weeks of gestation. The gestational age at delivery in subsequent pregnancies was 23–38 gestational weeks. Among the included cases (n = 8), those involving prior mid-trimester uterine rupture appeared to be associated with an increased prevalence of placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) (n = 3, 37.5%) compared with those involving term uterine rupture published in the literature; moreover, one case exhibited recurrent uterine rupture at 23 weeks of gestation (12.5%). No maternal deaths have been reported in subsequent pregnancies following prior mid-trimester uterine rupture. Fetal outcomes were feasible, except for one pregnancy with recurrent mid-trimester uterine rupture at 23 weeks of gestation, whose fetus was alive complicated by cerebral palsy. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that clinicians should be aware of the possibility of PAS and possible uterine rupture in pregnancies after prior mid-trimester uterine rupture. Further case studies are warranted to assess maternal and fetal outcomes in pregnancies following prior mid-trimester prior uterine rupture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Risk Pregnancy)
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Case Report
Severe Neonatal Anemia Due to Spontaneous Massive Fetomaternal Hemorrhage at Term: An Illustrative Case with Suspected Antenatal Diagnosis and Brief Review of Current Knowledge
Medicina 2021, 57(12), 1285; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57121285 - 23 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Fetomaternal hemorrhage is defined as transfer of fetal blood into placental circulation and therefore into maternal circulation during pregnancy, and represents an important contributor to intrauterine fetal demise and neonatal death. The condition is rarely diagnosed prenatally because clinical findings are often nonspecific, [...] Read more.
Fetomaternal hemorrhage is defined as transfer of fetal blood into placental circulation and therefore into maternal circulation during pregnancy, and represents an important contributor to intrauterine fetal demise and neonatal death. The condition is rarely diagnosed prenatally because clinical findings are often nonspecific, and it is unpredictable. In this paper we present an illustrative case of massive spontaneous fetomaternal hemorrhage where the diagnosis was highly suspected antenatally based on maternal reported reduced fetal movements, abnormal suggestive cardiotocographic trace, and increased peak systolic velocity in the fetal middle cerebral artery. We discuss obstetrical and neonatal management and review the current knowledge in the literature. Maintaining a high index of suspicion for this condition allows the obstetrician to plan for adequate diagnostic tests, arrange intrauterine treatment or delivery, and prepare the neonatal team. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Risk Pregnancy)
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Case Report
Absence of Wharton’s Jelly at the Abdominal Site of the Umbilical Cord Insertion. Rare Case Report and Review of the Literature
Medicina 2021, 57(11), 1268; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57111268 - 18 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Wharton’s jelly is a specialized connective tissue surrounding and protecting umbilical cord vessels. In its absence, the vessels are exposed to the risk of compression or rupture. Because the condition is very rare and there are no available antepartum investigation methods for diagnosis, [...] Read more.
Wharton’s jelly is a specialized connective tissue surrounding and protecting umbilical cord vessels. In its absence, the vessels are exposed to the risk of compression or rupture. Because the condition is very rare and there are no available antepartum investigation methods for diagnosis, these cases are usually discovered after delivery, frequently after in utero fetal demise. We report the fortunate case of a 29-year-old nulliparous woman, with an uncomplicated pregnancy, admitted at 39 weeks in labor where a persistently abnormal cardiotocographic trace led to delivery by cesarean section of a healthy 3500 g newborn. After delivery, a Wharton’s jelly anomaly was identified at the abdominal umbilical insertion (umbilical cord vessels, approximately 1 cm in length, were completely uncovered by Wharton’s jelly), which required surgical thread elective ligation. In the presence of a persistently abnormal CTG trace, in a pregnancy with no clinical settings suggestive of either chronic or acute fetal hypoxemia, the absence of Wharton’s jelly should be taken into consideration in the differential diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Risk Pregnancy)
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Case Report
Transcatheter Arterial Embolization for Spontaneous Hepatic Rupture Associated with HELLP Syndrome: A Case Report
Medicina 2021, 57(10), 1055; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57101055 - 02 Oct 2021
Viewed by 399
Abstract
Background: Spontaneous hepatic rupture associated with the syndrome characterized by hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and a low platelet count (HELLP syndrome) is a rare and life-threatening condition, and only a few cases regarding the management of this condition through transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) [...] Read more.
Background: Spontaneous hepatic rupture associated with the syndrome characterized by hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and a low platelet count (HELLP syndrome) is a rare and life-threatening condition, and only a few cases regarding the management of this condition through transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) have been previously reported. Case summary: Herein, we report a case involving a 35-year-old pregnant woman who presented at 28 weeks of gestation with right upper quadrant pain, hypotension, and elevated levels of liver enzymes. Transabdominal ultrasound revealed fetal death. She required an emergency cesarean section, and hepatic rupture was identified after the fetus had been delivered. Hepatic packing and TAE were performed. The postprocedural course was uneventful, and the patient was discharged 14 days after she had been admitted to our hospital. Conclusions: Spontaneous hepatic rupture associated with HELLP syndrome is a very serious condition that requires prompt and decisive management. The high maternal and fetal mortality rates associated with this condition can be reduced through early accurate diagnosis and adequate management. The findings in the reported case indicate that TAE may be an attractive alternative to surgery for the management of spontaneous hepatic rupture associated with HELLP syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Risk Pregnancy)
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Case Report
Secondary Amenorrhea and Infertility Due to an Inhibin B Producing Granulosa Cell Tumor of the Ovary. A Rare Case Report and Literature Review
Medicina 2021, 57(8), 829; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57080829 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Granulosa cell tumor of the ovary (GCT) is a rare ovarian tumor with nonspecific symptoms. Studies reported that GCT are usually secreting estrogens and inhibins, especially inhibin B. It is considered that, in premenopausal women, irregular menses or secondary amenorrhea may be an [...] Read more.
Granulosa cell tumor of the ovary (GCT) is a rare ovarian tumor with nonspecific symptoms. Studies reported that GCT are usually secreting estrogens and inhibins, especially inhibin B. It is considered that, in premenopausal women, irregular menses or secondary amenorrhea may be an early symptom of GCT and, in postmenopausal women, the most common manifestation is vaginal bleeding. Additionally, endometrial abnormalities can be associated due to estrogenic secretion. At reproductive age, high levels of inhibin, lead to low levels of FSH and secondary amenorrhea causing infertility. At times, increased levels of LH in women with GCT are observed and the pathogenesis is still unclear. Therefore, inhibin B level can differentiate GCT from other causes of secondary amenorrhea. We report the case of a 26-year-old nulliparous, women who presented in our clinic with secondary infertility lasting longer than 2 years, secondary amenorrhea, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and suspicion of right ovarian endometrioma on CT scan. The ultrasound examination revealed that the right ovary was transformed in an anechoic mass with increased peripheral vascularity having a volume of 10 cm3. This patient had high serum levels of inhibin B and LH but normal levels of FSH and estradiol. The preliminary diagnosis of granulosa cell tumor of the ovary was made. After counseling, the informed consent for treatment was obtained and the patient agreed to undergo surgery. An uneventful laparoscopy was performed with right oophorectomy and multiple peritoneal sampling. The histological diagnosis confirmed adult GCT limited to right ovary, with negative peritoneal biopsies (FIGO IA). After surgery the patient recovered fully and had normal menstrual cycles with normal serum levels of hormones. Two months later she conceived spontaneously and had an uneventful pregnancy. In conclusion, for cases with secondary amenorrhea, the evaluation of inhibin B level is essential. Elevated inhibin B level may be a sign for the presence of an unsuspected tumor. With early diagnosis and treatment, the prognosis is generally good and the fertility may be preserved, especially in young patients with GCT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Risk Pregnancy)
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