The Journal of Family & Reproductive Health (JFRH) is the quarterly official journal of Vali–e–Asr Reproductive Health Research Center. This journal features fulllength, peerreviewed papers reporting original research, clinical case histories, review articles, as well as opinions and debates on topical issues. Papers published cover the scientific and medical aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology including genetics, endocrinology, andrology, embryology, gynecologic urology, fetomaternal medicine, oncology, infectious disease, public health, nutrition, surgery, menopause, family planning, infertility, psychiatry–psychology, demographic modeling, perinatalogy–neonatolgy ethics and social issues, and pharmacotherapy. A high scientific and editorial standard is maintained throughout the journal along with a regular rate of publication.
Controversial Screening for Thyroid Dysfunction in Preconception and Pregnancy: An Evidence-Based Review
Objective: To evaluate the recommendations on the most adequate screening method (universal or selective) for thyroid dysfunction. Although thyroid dysfunction is a common disorder in fertile women and untreated cases may have negative maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes, its screening in preconception and early pregnancy is controversial.
Materials and methods: An evidence-based review was conducted to identify publications since 2017 of American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines, according to the following Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcomes and Study (PICOS): women in preconception or pregnancy without thyroid disease who underwent universal or selective screening for thyroid dysfunction. Study selection obeyed the PRISMA criteria.
Results: We included 15 of 325 publications. The 2017 ATA guidelines recommend selective screening in both preconception and pregnancy. The only two reviews on preconception recommended universal screening. For pregnancy, nine articles suggested universal screening, while a prospective study advocated selective screening. The main benefits advocated for universal screening were easy and low-cost tests; absence of missed diagnosis; safe and inexpensive treatment and its potential in preventing negative outcomes. Iodine deficiency is a decisive indication, but it was not evaluated in all clinical studies. Screening harms and knowledge gaps were the main arguments against universal screening. There are very few cost-effectiveness studies.
Conclusion: We recommend universal screening for thyroid dysfunction in early pregnancy, which is a distinct point of view from 2017 ATA guidelines (weak recommendation, low-quality evidence). It is not possible to make a formal recommendation for preconception (insufficient evidence). We strongly suggest an individualized analysis by each country.
Factors Influencing Pregnant Women’s Use of Patient Decision Aids and Decision Making on Prenatal Screening: A Qualitative Study
Objective: We aimed to identify factors influencing pregnant women’s use of patient decision aids (PtDA) and decision making on prenatal screening.
Materials and methods: This qualitative study was conducted between July 2019 and June 2020 in Tehran, Iran. The sample included 26 pregnant women selected by purposive sampling. The participants used a prenatal screening PtDA, then interviewed about factors that would influence their decision making and use of decision aids. The data were analyzed by conventional content analysis.
Results: Three categories were identified for the process of and factors influencing decision making, including the current decision making process, expected decision making process, and factors influencing decision making. Also, five categories were identified as factors affecting the use of PtDAs, including the content of decision aids, the appearance of decision aids, the decision aid platform, the provision of decision aids, and the sub features of decision aids.
Conclusion: To design, develop, and implementation of PtDAs for pregnant women, one should identify the factors affecting pregnant women’s decision making and the use of decision aids. This study helped to the identification of these factors, which is the first step towards the use of PtDAs by pregnant women and their participation in decision making.
Increased Estradiol Levels Effect on Leptin Expression in Midluteal Endometrial Tissue of Macaca Nemestrina (Southern Pig-Tailed Macaques)
Objective: To measure the effect of serum estradiol (E2) levels on leptin expression in Macaca nemestrina (southern pig-tailed macaque) endometrial tissue.
Materials and methods: This study used paraffin-embedded midluteal phase endometrial tissue blocks of Macaca nemestrina from previous study. Included subjects were 15 female macaques of reproductive age (8-10 years) with a previous history of producing offspring, which were divided into four groups: groups administered with 30 IU, 50 IU, and 70 IU r-FSH (intervention group), and no r-FSH (control group). The stimulation was done following GnRH agonist long protocol. Staining was done using immunohistochemistry. Leptin expression was measured using immunohistochemistry (IHC) Profiler plugin of ImageJ software and counted semi-quantitatively as Histological Score (Hscore).
Results: Correlation between E2 concentration to stromal leptin expression was observed (p=0.043).
Conclusion: Serum estradiol concentration is found to be correlated with leptin expression in Macaca nemestrina, suggesting a mechanism of decreasing endometrial receptivity among women undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation.
Objective: To investigate the relationship between sex-composition of children and women’s fertility desire in Vietnam.
Materials and methods: Using data from the 2014 Vietnam Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), we investigate the association between sex composition of children and desire for additional children among women in reproductive age (15 to 49 years) across Vietnam (N=5,605).
Results: Multivariate logistic regression models showed statistically significant association between sex composition of children and women’s fertility desire, after controlling for social norms of fertility preference, demographic and socioeconomic factors. For each group of women (those with one child, two children, and three or more children) women with no sons are more likely to have higher fertility desire compared to women with at least one son. However, women with both son (s) and daughter (s) tend to have lower fertility desire compared to those who have all sons.
Conclusion: Vietnam’s traditional cultural norm of son preference has a strong influence on fertility desire. Besides, mix-gender preference is also documented. The government should enforce the law more strictly regarding the prohibition of ultrasounds to detect fetal sex to reduce the feasibility of sex selection abortion. In addition, the government should improve the social ideology of the role of women in the family and society through mass media.
Development of a Comprehensive Antenatal Risk Assessment Tool to Predict Adverse Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes in Rural Areas: An Exploratory Study: An exploratory study
Objective: To develop a comprehensive antenatal risk assessment tool to predict adverse maternal and early perinatal outcomes in a rural setting.
Materials and methods: Cross-sectional study among women admitted for delivery in a rural maternity hospital, south India. Risk factors from Rotterdam Reproductive Risk Reduction (R4U) scorecard and social factors relevant to Indian rural context were included in questionnaire. Maternal and perinatal outcomes were obtained from in-patient records. Logistic regression of risk factors associated with adverse outcomes and weighted scores assigned using beta-coefficients. Cut-off score to predict adverse outcome was derived using Receiver Operator Characteristic Curve (ROC Curve) and Likelihood ratios.
Results: Adjusted odds for adverse outcome highest for small for gestational age by ultrasound scan [OR=7.4 (1.4-36.5)], tobacco chewing [OR=5.6 (1.8–28.5)] and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy [OR=3.5 (1.9-9.6)]. After assigning weighted scores, the 74-item antenatal risk assessment tool had a maximum possible score of 86. Risk score was calculated for all subjects. Cut-off score to predict adverse outcome was 4, using ROC curve, with a sensitivity of 98%, a specificity of 21% and positive likelihood ratio of 1.23 (1.10-1.37).
Conclusion: This comprehensive antenatal risk assessment tool is easy to administer, specific to rural areas and can help community-level workers to screen, monitor, and refer high risk pregnancies for further management to prevent adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes. This may be considered a prototype towards developing more robust antenatal risk screening and outcome prediction in rural settings.
Objective: Pregnant women need health information to ensure their health and to have a healthy delivery. Therefore, equipping them with adequate information can bring desired health outcomes for them and their fetus. The present study was conducted to explore health information needs of women during pregnancy. Materials and methods: The present research was a qualitative study. Thirty-nine participants (pregnant women, midwives, and obstetricians) were selected through purposeful sampling in Isfahan from June to November 2016. Data were collected through in-depth face-to-face semi-structured interviews, daily notes and field notes.
Results: Data analysis led to emergence of ten sub-categories including: "common complaints during pregnancy", "problems and complications in pregnancy", "factors affecting fetal health", "proper nutrition and take supplements during pregnancy", "sex during pregnancy", "exercise during pregnancy", "diagnostic tests in pregnancy", "fetal growth and development", "types of childbirth and preparation for delivery" and "baby care and breastfeeding" and finally the main category was the "health information needs".
Conclusion: Regarding the health information requests of pregnant women, their needs should be identified and taken into consideration when planning educational programs for this group of women.
Assessing Pain Behavioral Responses and Neurotrophic Factors in the Dorsal Root Ganglion, Serum and Peritoneal Fluid in Rat Models of Endometriosis
Objective: Pain is the most frequently reported symptom involving in endometriosis. The alterations of neurotrophic factors and certain neuropeptides in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), as well as serum and peritoneal fluid (PF), were evaluated in rat models of endometriosis.
Materials and methods: Twenty-four Sprague Dawley female rats were selected and maintained in a standard condition with 12 hours’ dark-light cycles. All the rats were randomly assigned to 3 groups: Control (intact rats); Sham (the operation was conducted without endometriosis induction); and Endometriosis (endometriosis induction was performed). The formalin test was performed for all groups on the first and the 21st day of the study. The assessments of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP), and Substance P levels were carried out by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Elisa). The data were analyzed by One-Way ANOVA. The Tukey’s test was used as post-hoc.
Results: Endometriosis induction significantly increased the mean pain scores in the endometriosis group in all three phases of the formalin test. The concentrations of DRG-CGRP (p=0.035), BDNF (p<0.001), and NGF (p=0.006) in the endometriosis group were significantly higher than that of the other groups while serum-BDNF (p<0.001), Substance P (p=0.009), and NGF (p=0.015) were significantly lower in endometriosis group compared to other groups. The concentrations of PF-BDNF (p=0.025) and Substance P (p=0.009) were significantly lower than those of other groups.
Conclusion: The present results delineate that endometriosis induction could lead to hyperalgesia. This may be related to the significant increases in the BDNF, NGF, and CGRP in DRG.
Objective: Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) has been robustly associated with preeclampsia, hyperperfusion or endothelial dysfunction suggested as possible mechanisms. In this article, we report an illustrative case of this complication in a patient with risk factors for hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, including advanced maternal age and donor oocyte fertilization.
Case report: We present a case of a 40-year-old pregnant, donor oocyte recipient with sudden decreased visual acuity accompanied by hypertension, proteinuria and tonic-clonic seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain showed bilateral lesions in the parieto-occipital regions suggestive of vasogenic edema, leading us to suspect posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome. The patient underwent an emergency cesarean section and labetalol and magnesium sulfate were administered intravenously. The neurological symptoms and radiological findings resolved following delivery and the patient’s blood pressure normalized, supporting the diagnosis of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome.
Conclusion: Pregnancy by donor oocyte fertilization may entail a higher risk of eclampsia and associated posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome.
Objective: Small cell neuroendocrine cervical carcinoma is a neuroendocrine tumor with the great aggravation that comprises 0.5 to 3 percent of cervical tumors and progresses rapidly with early lymphogenous and hematogenous metastases.
Case report: We reported a 40 years old woman with cervical cancer in stage IB2 that had radical hysterectomy with mistaken diagnosis of squamous cervical cancer. The disease has progressed after 50 days of surgery with a 6 cm tumor in vaginal cuff; review of pathology demonstrated small cell neuroendocrine cervical carcinoma. Conclusion: Recognition of this separate histopathological entity with IHC analysis is important. Chemoradiotherapy and multimodality therapeutic approaches could improve the survival rates.
Primary Extra Mammary Paget’s Disease of Vulva, With Apocrine Adenocarcinoma, Signet Ring Cell Differentiation and Distant Metastasis
Objective: Extramammary Paget's disease (EMPD) with invasive carcinoma and distant metastasis is extremely rare. In vulva EMPD associated apocrine carcinoma with signet ring cell differentiation has not been described in the literature so far. Its slow evolution, varied clinical presentation and histological appearances, lead to difficulty in diagnosis of this disease.
Case report: We hereby report a case of primary EMPD with invasive carcinoma and distant metastasis in a 59-year-old female who presented with erythematous indurated plaque over vulva. Histopathology revealed Paget cell infiltration throughout the epidermis with invasive carcinoma in dermis and liver metastasis on CECT. The immunohistochemical expressions of CK7, CK20, GCDFP-15, CEA, p40, CDX 2, Her-2/ neu, AR, ER, were examined to explicate the cellular differentiation of this carcinoma. According to the histological assessment, this case was diagnosed as primary EMPD with apocrine adenocarcinoma, signet ring cell differentiation, vulva.
Conclusion: Owing to poor prognosis, a high index of clinical suspicion along with histological and immunohistochemical assessment is of utmost importance in arriving at final diagnosis.