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1.  Caesarean Section: Could Different Transverse Abdominal Incision Techniques Influence Postpartum Pain and Subsequent Quality of Life? A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0114190.
The choice of the type of abdominal incision performed in caesarean delivery is made chiefly on the basis of the individual surgeon’s experience and preference. A general consensus on the most appropriate surgical technique has not yet been reached. The aim of this systematic review of the literature is to compare the two most commonly used transverse abdominal incisions for caesarean delivery, the Pfannenstiel incision and the modified Joel-Cohen incision, in terms of acute and chronic post-surgical pain and their subsequent influence in terms of quality of life. Electronic database searches formed the basis of the literature search and the following databases were searched in the time frame between January 1997 and December 2013: MEDLINE, EMBASE Sciencedirect and the Cochrane Library. Key search terms included: “acute pain”, “chronic pain”, “Pfannenstiel incision”, “Misgav-Ladach”, “Joel Cohen incision”, in combination with “Caesarean Section”, “abdominal incision”, “numbness”, “neuropathic pain” and “nerve entrapment”. Data on 4771 patients who underwent caesarean section (CS) was collected with regards to the relation between surgical techniques and postoperative outcomes defined as acute or chronic pain and future pregnancy desire. The Misgav-Ladach incision was associated with a significant advantage in terms of reduction of post-surgical acute and chronic pain. It was indicated as the optimal technique in view of its characteristic of reducing lower pelvic discomfort and pain, thus improving quality of life and future fertility desire. Further studies which are not subject to important bias like pre-existing chronic pain, non-standardized analgesia administration, variable length of skin incision and previous abdominal surgery are required.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114190
PMCID: PMC4315586  PMID: 25646621
2.  Borderline Ovarian Tumors and Diagnostic Dilemma of Intraoperative Diagnosis: Could Preoperative He4 Assay and ROMA Score Assessment Increase the Frozen Section Accuracy? A Multicenter Case-Control Study 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:803598.
The aim of our study was to assess the value of a preoperative He4-serum-assay and ROMA-score assessment in improving the accuracy of frozen section histology in the diagnosis of borderline ovarian tumors (BOT). 113 women presenting with a unilateral ovarian mass diagnosed as serous/mucinous BOT at frozen-section-histology (FS) and/or confirmed on final pathology were recruited. Pathologists were informed of the results of preoperative clinical/instrumental assessment of all patients. For Group_A patients, additional information regarding He4, CA125, and ROMA score was available (in Group_B only CA125 was known). The comparison between Group A and Group B in terms of FS accuracy, demonstrated a consensual diagnosis in 62.8% versus 58.6% (P: n.s.), underdiagnosis in 25.6% versus 41.4% (P < 0.05), and overdiagnosis in 11.6% versus 0% (P < 0.01). Low FS diagnostic accuracy was associated with menopausal status (OR: 2.13), laparoscopic approach (OR: 2.18), mucinous histotype (OR: 2.23), low grading (OR: 1.30), and FIGO stage I (OR: 2.53). Ultrasound detection of papillae (OR: 0.29), septa (OR: 0.39), atypical vascularization (OR: 0.34), serum He4 assay (OR: 0.39), and ROMA score assessment (OR: 0.44) decreased the probability of underdiagnosis. A combined preoperative assessment through serum markers and ultrasonographic features may potentially reduce the risk of underdiagnosis of BOTs on FS while likely increasing the concomitant incidence of false-positive events.
doi:10.1155/2014/803598
PMCID: PMC4238177  PMID: 25431767
3.  Intrapartum Ultrasound Assessment of Fetal Spine Position 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:783598.
We investigated the role of foetal spine position in the first and second labour stages to determine the probability of OPP detection at birth and the related obstetrical implications. We conducted an observational-longitudinal cohort study on uncomplicated cephalic single foetus pregnant women at term. We evaluated the accuracy of ultrasound in predicting occiput position at birth, influence of fetal spine in occiput position during labour, labour trend, analgesia request, type of delivery, and indication to CS. The accuracy of the foetal spinal position to predict the occiput position at birth was high at the first labour stage. At the second labour stage, CS (40.3%) and operative vaginal deliveries (23.9%) occurred more frequently in OPP than in occiput anterior position (7% and 15.2%, resp.), especially in cases of the posterior spine. In concordant posterior positions labour length was greater than other ones, and analgesia request rate was 64.1% versus 14.7% for all the others. The assessment of spinal position could be useful in obstetrical management and counselling, both before and during labour. The detection of spinal position, more than OPP, is predictive of successful delivery. In concordant posterior positions, the labour length, analgesia request, operative delivery, and caesarean section rate are higher than in the other combination.
doi:10.1155/2014/783598
PMCID: PMC4137495  PMID: 25157368
4.  Women's Choice of Positions during Labour: Return to the Past or a Modern Way to Give Birth? A Cohort Study in Italy 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:638093.
Background. Childbirth medicalization has reduced the parturient's opportunity to labour and deliver in a spontaneous position, constricting her to assume the recumbent one. The aim of the study was to compare recumbent and alternative positions in terms of labour process, type of delivery, neonatal wellbeing, and intrapartum fetal head rotation. Methods. We conducted an observational cohort study on women at pregnancy term. Primiparous women with physiological pregnancies and single cephalic fetuses were eligible for the study. We considered data about maternal-general characteristics, labour process, type of delivery, and neonatal wellbeing at birth. Patients were divided into two groups: Group-A if they spent more than 50% of labour in a recumbent position and Group-B when in alternative ones. Results. 225 women were recruited (69 in Group-A and 156 in Group-B). We found significant differences between the groups in terms of labour length, Numeric Rating Scale score and analgesia request rate, type of delivery, need of episiotomy, and fetal occiput rotation. No differences were found in terms of neonatal outcomes. Conclusion. Alternative maternal positioning may positively influence labour process reducing maternal pain, operative vaginal delivery, caesarean section, and episiotomy rate. Women should be encouraged to move and deliver in the most comfortable position.
doi:10.1155/2014/638093
PMCID: PMC4052104  PMID: 24955365
5.  An observational cohort study to determine efficacy, adherence and outcome of the early initiation of pressure support ventilation during mechanical ventilation 
BMJ Open Respiratory Research  2014;1(1):e000028.
Background
Timely initiation of weaning from mechanical ventilation (MV) is important. Non-validated screening criteria may delay weaning if too prescriptive. This study observed physician-led utilisation of pressure support ventilation (PSV), referenced to four reported conventional screening criteria hypothesising that these criteria would have delayed the weaning progress.
Methods
A prospective observational cohort study of adult patients receiving MV in a 30-bed university hospital intensive care unit (ICU). Logistic regression analysis identified factors associated with PSV failure. Outcome is reported according to adherence to the screening criteria.
Results
209 patients were included (age 62.6±15.9 years, male:female 115:94, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II 16.7±6.1). Median (IQR) time to initiate PSV was 11.0 (5.0–22.0) h, and duration of weaning to extubation was 43.0 (13.0–121.5) h. PSV weaning was initiated despite significant hypoxia (partial pressure of arterial oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen ratio (PaO2:FiO2) 35.8±15.9 kPa), moderate positive end-expiratory pressure levels (7.5±2.5 cm H2O), deep sedation (44% Richmond Agitation and Sedation Scale (RASS) ≤−3) and cardiovascular instability (48.8%). At PSV initiation, 85% of patients violated at least one screening criterion, yet 74.6% of patients remained stable for 24 h and 25.4% of patients were successfully extubated within 12 h. There was no association between individual screening criteria and PSV failure. Failure to sustain a PSV trial was associated with ventilation >7 days (RR=2.12 (1.33 to 3.38), p=0.002) and ICU mortality (RR=2.94 (1.46 to 5.94), p=0.002).
Conclusions
Physician-led transition to PSV and weaning was often initiated early and successfully before patients fulfilled conventional screening criteria. Failure to sustain a PSV trial could be an early indicator of prolonged MV and ICU mortality and warrants further investigation. These data support the view that current screening criteria may delay initiation of weaning.
doi:10.1136/bmjresp-2014-000028
PMCID: PMC4212705  PMID: 25478179
Assisted Ventilation; Respiratory Measurement
6.  An Update on Diabetic Women Obstetrical Outcomes Linked to Preconception and Pregnancy Glycemic Profile: A Systematic Literature Review 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:254901.
Women with type 2 diabetes were less likely to have diabetes related complications than women with type 1. Women with type 1 diabetes had a high prepregnancy care and showed a worse glycemic control than women with type 2 both in the preconception period and during pregnancy. Obstetrical outcomes showed that preeclampsia and stillbirth rate is almost doubled in type 1 patients while perinatal deaths and SGA importantly increased in type 2 diabetes. In modern obstetrical care it is mandatory to maintain glucose levels as close to normal as possible particularly in diabetic population. HbA1C no higher than 6% before pregnancy and during the first trimester seems to decrease the risk of adverse obstetrical outcomes. Both the preconceptional counseling and glycemic profile optimization represent a fundamental step to improve pregnancy outcomes in women with preexisting diabetes. A systematic approach to family planning and the availability of preconception care for all diabetic women who desire pregnancy could be an essential step for diabetic management program.
doi:10.1155/2013/254901
PMCID: PMC3836410  PMID: 24319351
7.  Statin therapy in critical illness: an international survey of intensive care physicians’ opinions, attitudes and practice 
Background
Pleotropic effects of statins on inflammation are hypothesised to attenuate the severity of and possibly prevent the occurrence of the host inflammatory response to pathogen and infection-related acute organ failure. We conducted an international survey of intensive care physicians in Australia, New Zealand (ANZ) and United Kingdom (UK). The aims of the survey were to assess the current prescribing practice patterns, attitudes towards prescribing statin therapy in critically ill patients and opinions on the need for an interventional trial of statin therapy in critically ill patients.
Methods
Survey questions were developed through an iterative process. An expert group reviewed the resulting 26 items for face and content validity and clarity. The questions were further refined following pilot testing by ICU physicians from Australia, Canada and the UK. We used the online Smart SurveyTM software to administer the survey.
Results
Of 239 respondents (62 from ANZ and 177 from UK) 58% worked in teaching hospitals; most (78.2%) practised in ‘closed’ units with a mixed medical and surgical case mix (71.0%). The most frequently prescribed statins were simvastatin (77.6%) in the UK and atorvastatin (66.1%) in ANZ. The main reasons cited to explain the choice of statin were preadmission prescription and pharmacy availability. Most respondents reported never starting statins to prevent (65.3%) or treat (89.1%) organ dysfunction. Only a minority (10%) disagreed with a statement that the risks of major side effects of statins when prescribed in critically ill patients were low. The majority (84.5%) of respondents strongly agreed that a clinical trial of statins for prevention is needed. More than half (56.5%) favoured rates of organ failure as the primary outcome for such a trial, while a minority (40.6%) favoured mortality.
Conclusions
Despite differences in type of statins prescribed, critical care physicians in the UK and ANZ reported similar prescription practices. Respondents from both communities agreed that a trial is needed to test whether statins can prevent the onset of new organ failure in patients with sepsis.
doi:10.1186/1472-6904-12-13
PMCID: PMC3416708  PMID: 22742644
Survey; Statin; Sepsis; Critical care; Clinical trials
8.  Cervical Mullerian Adenosarcoma with heterologous sarcomatous overgrowth: a fourth case and review of literature 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:236.
Background
Uterine sarcomas are relatively rare tumors that account for approximately 1-3% of female genital tract malignancies and between 4-9% of uterine cancers. Less than 8% of all cases are Mullerian adenosarcoma, a distinctive uterine neoplasm characterized by a benign, but occasionally atypical, epithelial and a malignant, usually low-grade, stromal component, both of which should be integral and neoplastic constituents of the tumor. Mullerian adenosarcoma with sarcomatous overgrowth (MASO) is a very aggressive variant, associated with post-operative recurrence, metastases, even when diagnosed in early stage.
Case Presentation
We present a fourth MASO case derived from uterine cervix in a 72-year-old woman with metrorrhagia and a polypoid mass protruding through the cervical ostium. Total abdominal hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, systematic pelvic lymph node dissection, omental biopsy and appendectomy were performed. Surgery treatment was associated with adjuvant whole-pelvis radiation (45 Gy) and adjuvant chemotherapy (cisplatin/ifosfamide). After nine months of follow up, the patient was free of tumor.
Conclusions
The rarity of MASO of the cervix involves a management difficult. Most authors recommend total abdominal hysterectomy, usually accompanied by bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. There is no common agreement on staging by lymphadenectomy during primary surgery and adjuvant chemo-radio therapy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-236
PMCID: PMC3141764  PMID: 21663687

Results 1-8 (8)