How a simple blood test can identify women at risk for preterm birth

One in ten babies is born prematurely in the United States, but a blood test during a routine prenatal visit could reveal if a woman is at risk of a preterm delivery, according to a Michigan State University researcher.
“Preterm births are common,” said Hanne Hoffmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “If we know the mother is at risk for a preterm birth, her doctor can monitor her more closely.”

New Chair Named for Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences

After a nationwide search, Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, MD, has been named chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Health.

Placental Stem Cells Show Promise for Treating Preemies’ Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Article title: Human placental-derived stem cell therapy ameliorates experimental necrotizing enterocolitis Authors: Victoria G. Weis, Anna C. Deal, Gehad Mekky, Cara Clouse, Michaela Gaffley, Emily Whitaker, Cole B. Peeler, Jared A. Weis, Marshall Z. Schwartz, Anthony Atala From the authors:…

Study Finds No Change in Preterm Birth or Stillbirth in Philadelphia During Pandemic Period

Despite early reports suggesting a decline in preterm births during the COVID-19 pandemic period, an analysis by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found no change in preterm births or stillbirths at two Philadelphia hospitals in the first four months of the pandemic. The findings, published today in JAMA, resulted from the examination of an ongoing, racially-diverse pregnancy cohort that assesses both spontaneous and medically-indicated preterm birth.

Pregnant Women with Severe COVID-19 Face Additional Risks and Early Delivery

Pregnant women with severe or critical COVID-19 and their unborn infants face increased health risks before and after delivery, a Rutgers study finds.

Meanwhile, the study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, also found that pregnant women with mild cases of coronavirus disease 2019 had similar outcomes compared to those who were uninfected.

Ultrasound Techniques Give Warning Signs of Preterm Births

Ultrasound can be used to examine cervix tissue and improve diagnostics, which is essential for predicting preterm births, and ultrasound data is used to compare two techniques for evaluating changes in cervical tissue throughout pregnancy. Researchers are looking at ultrasonic attenuation coefficients that can help scientists characterize cervical changes throughout pregnancy and in preparation for birth before other symptoms, such as contractions or dilation, occur. They will discuss their work at the 178th ASA Meeting.