SMFM SmartBrief is a digest of the most important maternal-fetal medicine-related health news selected from thousands of sources by the editors of SmartBrief and delivered digitally to SMFM members and others interested in maternal-fetal medicine. SMFM does not endorse these articles, nor views expressed therein. The presence of advertising does not endorse, or imply endorsement of, any products or services by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
In a draft recommendation reaffirming 2009 guidance, the US Preventive Services Task Force said that all pregnant women should undergo hepatitis B virus screening during their first prenatal visit, based on "convincing evidence" associating universal prenatal HBV screening with significantly lower odds of perinatal HBV transmission. The draft will remain open for public comment until Feb. 4.
After a woman in a vegetative state for more than a decade gave birth to a healthy child in Arizona, many are asking questions about how the sexual abuse occurred and how no one noticed the pregnancy. Dr. Deborah Feldman, director for maternal-fetal medicine at Hartford HealthCare Medical Group, said births like this one are rare but can be seen every five or 10 years or so.
Many obstetricians are employing cell-free DNA tests, which analyze fetal genetic information traveling from the placenta, for younger women and not just higher-risk pregnancies. The noninvasive prenatal test can detect fetal chromosomal abnormalities, including Down syndrome.
An early-stage trial reported in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that a vaccine candidate for the prevention of pregnancy-associated malaria resulted in antibody development without serious side effects in 36 volunteers.
A literature review found 1 in 4 women seen at sexual health clinics reported experiencing interference with their reproductive autonomy, such as controlling contraception and pregnancy decisions, researchers reported in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health. Researchers said health care providers should ask women about reproductive control, and screening should be done in general practice, maternity and reproductive health care settings.
Only 5.1% of children with sickle cell anemia in sub-Saharan Africa who received hydroxyurea had dose-limiting toxic events, which was significantly lower than the 30% protocol-specified allowable rate, researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. The findings also showed that those who were given hydroxyurea had significantly increased hemoglobin and fetal hemoglobin levels, and significantly reduced prevalence of malaria, nonmalaria infection, transfusions, vaso-occlusive pain and mortality after one year, compared with the period before treatment.
Babies whose mothers had severe influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 during gestation in the 2009 pandemic year were more likely to be born preterm and have low Apgar scores, compared with those whose mothers didn't have the flu during the same year, according to a study in the journal Birth Defects Research. However, researchers found no significantly higher odds of adverse birth outcomes among those whose mothers had influenza but weren't hospitalized or admitted to the ICU.
A study in JAMA Network Open found that abnormal prenatal ultrasound results in Zika-infected women had some value in predicting how the fetus will be affected by the virus after birth, but negative predictive value was low. Researchers found 22.2% sensitivity and 97.9% specificity for a major abnormal result specifically related to Zika, with 90.9% positive predictive value and 56.8% negative predictive value.
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