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Infants with prenatally diagnosed CHD are at high risk for adverse outcomes owing to multiple physiologic and psychosocial factors. Lack of immediate physical postnatal contact because of rapid initiation of medical therapy impairs maternal–infant bonding. On the basis of expected physiology, maternal–infant bonding may be safe for select cardiac diagnoses.
This is a single-centre study to assess safety of maternal–infant bonding in prenatal CHD.
In total, 157 fetuses with prenatally diagnosed CHD were reviewed. On the basis of cardiac diagnosis, 91 fetuses (58%) were prenatally approved for bonding and successfully bonded, 38 fetuses (24%) were prenatally approved but deemed not suitable for bonding at delivery, and 28 (18%) were not prenatally approved to bond. There were no complications attributable to bonding. Those who successfully bonded were larger in weight (3.26 versus 2.6 kg, p<0.001) and at later gestation (39 versus 38 weeks, p<0.001). Those unsuccessful at bonding were more likely to have been delivered via Caesarean section (74 versus 49%, p=0.011) and have additional non-cardiac diagnoses (53 versus 29%, p=0.014). There was no significant difference regarding the need for cardiac intervention before hospital discharge. Infants who bonded had shorter hospital (7 versus 26 days, p=0.02) and ICU lengths of stay (5 versus 23 days, p=0.002) and higher survival (98 versus 76%, p<0.001).
Fetal echocardiography combined with a structured bonding programme can permit mothers and infants with select types of CHD to successfully bond before ICU admission and intervention.
Although repeatedly associated with white matter microstructural alterations, bipolar disorder (BD) has been relatively unexplored using complex network analysis. This method combines structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to model the brain as a network and evaluate its topological properties. A group of highly interconnected high-density structures, termed the ‘rich-club’, represents an important network for integration of brain functioning. This study aimed to assess structural and rich-club connectivity properties in BD through graph theory analyses.
We obtained structural and diffusion MRI scans from 42 euthymic patients with BD type I and 43 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Weighted fractional anisotropy connections mapped between cortical and subcortical structures defined the neuroanatomical networks. Next, we examined between-group differences in features of graph properties and sub-networks.
Patients exhibited significantly reduced clustering coefficient and global efficiency, compared with controls globally and regionally in frontal and occipital regions. Additionally, patients displayed weaker sub-network connectivity in distributed regions. Rich-club analysis revealed subtly reduced density in patients, which did not withstand multiple comparison correction. However, hub identification in most participants indicated differentially affected rich-club membership in the BD group, with two hubs absent when compared with controls, namely the superior frontal gyrus and thalamus.
This graph theory analysis presents a thorough investigation of topological features of connectivity in euthymic BD. Abnormalities of global and local measures and network components provide further neuroanatomically specific evidence for distributed dysconnectivity as a trait feature of BD.
Recently, large-scale trials of behavioural interventions have failed to show improvements in pregnancy outcomes. They have, however, shown that lifestyle support improves maternal diet and physical activity during pregnancy, and can reduce weight gain. This suggests that pregnancy, and possibly the whole periconceptional period, represents a ‘teachable moment’ for changes in diet and lifestyle, an idea that was made much of in the recent report of the Chief Medical Officer for England. The greatest challenge with all trials of diet and lifestyle interventions is to engage people and to sustain this engagement. With this in mind, we propose a design of intervention that aims simultaneously to engage women through motivational conversations and to offer access to a digital platform that provides structured support for diet and lifestyle change. This intervention design therefore makes best use of learning from the trials described above and from recent advances in digital intervention design.
There is now a well-established link between childhood adversity (CA) and schizophrenia. Similar structural abnormalities to those found in schizophrenia including alterations in grey-matter volume have also been shown in those who experience CA.
We examined whether global estimates of cortical thickness or surface area were altered in those familial high-risk subjects who had been referred to a social worker or the Children's Panel compared to those who had not.
We found that the cortical surface area of those who were referred to the Children's Panel was significantly smaller than those who had not been referred, but cortical thickness was not significantly altered. There was also an effect of social work referral on cortical surface area but not on thickness.
Cortical surface area increases post-natally more than cortical thickness. Our findings suggest that CA can influence structural changes in the brain and it is likely to have a greater impact on cortical surface area than on cortical thickness.
Aortic arch obstruction can be evaluated by catheter peak-to-peak gradient or by Doppler peak instantaneous pressure gradient. Previous studies have shown moderate correlation in discrete coarctation, but few have assessed correlation in patients with more complex aortic reconstruction.
We carried out retrospective comparison of cardiac catheterisations and pre- and post-catheterisation echocardiograms in 60 patients with native/recurrent coarctation or aortic reconstruction. Aortic arch obstruction was defined as peak-to-peak gradient ⩾25 mmHg in patients with native/recurrent coarctation and ⩾10 mmHg in aortic reconstruction.
Diastolic continuation of flow was not associated with aortic arch obstruction in either group. Doppler peak instantaneous pressure gradient, with and without the expanded Bernoulli equation, weakly correlated with peak-to-peak gradient even in patients with a normal cardiac index (r=0.36, p=0.016, and r=0.49, p=0.001, respectively). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis identified an area under the curve of 0.61 for patients with all types of obstruction, with a cut-off point of 45 mmHg correctly classifying 64% of patients with arch obstruction (sensitivity 39%, specificity 89%). In patients with aortic arch reconstruction who had a cardiac index ⩾3 L/min/m2, a cut-off point of 23 mmHg correctly classified 69% of patients (71% sensitivity, 50% specificity) with an area under the curve of 0.82.
The non-invasive assessment of aortic obstruction remains challenging. The greatest correlation of Doppler indices was noted in patients with aortic reconstruction and a normal cardiac index.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Late preterm births constitute the majority of preterm births. However, most evidence suggesting that preterm birth predicts the risk of mental disorders comes from studies on earlier preterm births. We examined if late preterm birth predicts the risks of severe mental disorders from early to late adulthood. We also studied whether adulthood mental disorders are associated with post-term birth or with being born small (SGA) or large (LGA) for gestational age, which have been previously associated with psychopathology risk in younger ages.
Of 12 597 Helsinki Birth Cohort Study participants, born 1934–1944, 664 were born late preterm, 1221 post-term, 287 SGA, and 301 LGA. The diagnoses of mental disorders were identified from national hospital discharge and cause of death registers from 1969 to 2010. In total, 1660 (13.2%) participants had severe mental disorders.
Individuals born late preterm did not differ from term-born individuals in their risk of any severe mental disorder. However, men born late preterm had a significantly increased risk of suicide. Post-term birth predicted significantly increased risks of any mental disorder in general and particularly of substance use and anxiety disorders. Individuals born SGA had significantly increased risks of any mental and substance use disorders. Women born LGA had an increased risk of psychotic disorders.
Although men born late preterm had an increased suicide risk, late preterm birth did not exert widespread effects on adult psychopathology. In contrast, the risks of severe mental disorders across adulthood were increased among individuals born SGA and individuals born post-term.
Cochlear implant surgery is increasingly being performed through a small incision because of the benefits associated with this technique, such as fewer wound complications. Efforts have been made to maximise surgical exposure in order to improve this evolving technique; this includes the development and use of new retractors. For instance, elasticated stay hooks can retract skin in a radial fashion and they are less bulky than traditional retractors. These hooks are usually attached directly to surgical drapes or to a disposable retractor ring; there are disadvantages to both of these methods.
This paper describes a technique using a laryngeal suspension bar in which the bar acts as a fixed structure to which these elasticated stay hooks can be attached.
This technique was found to be safer, cheaper and more effective for obtaining optimal surgical exposure compared with a technique whereby the stay hooks are attached directly to the drapes or to a disposable retractor ring.
White matter (WM) abnormalities are proposed as potential endophenotypic markers of bipolar disorder (BD). In a diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) voxel-based analysis (VBA) study of families multiply affected with BD, we previously reported that widespread abnormalities of fractional anisotropy (FA) are associated with both BD and genetic liability for illness. In the present study, we further investigated the endophenotypic potential of WM abnormalities by applying DTI tractography to specifically investigate tracts implicated in the pathophysiology of BD.
Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were acquired from 19 patients with BD type I from multiply affected families, 21 of their unaffected first-degree relatives and 18 healthy volunteers. DTI tractography was used to identify the cingulum, uncinate fasciculus (UF), arcuate portion of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF), corpus callosum, and the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC). Regression analyses were conducted to investigate the effect of participant group and genetic liability on FA and radial diffusivity (RD) in each tract.
We detected a significant effect of group on both FA and RD in the cingulum, SLF, callosal splenium and ILF driven by reduced FA and increased RD in patients compared to controls and relatives. Increasing genetic liability was associated with decreased FA and increased RD in the UF, and decreased FA in the SLF, among patients.
WM microstructural abnormalities in limbic, temporal and callosal pathways represent microstructural abnormalities associated with BD whereas alterations in the SLF and UF may represent potential markers of endophenotypic risk.
Maternal experience of childhood maltreatment and maternal antenatal depression
are both associated with offspring childhood maltreatment and offspring adjustment
problems. We have investigated the relative impact of maternal childhood
maltreatment and exposure to depression in utero on offspring
maltreatment and psychopathology.
The sample included 125 families from the South London Child Development Study. A
prospective longitudinal design was used. Data on maternal childhood maltreatment,
maternal antenatal depression (36 weeks of pregnancy), offspring childhood
maltreatment (age 11 years) and offspring adolescent antisocial behaviour and
depression (ages 11 and 16 years) were obtained from parents and offspring through
Mothers who experienced childhood maltreatment were significantly more likely to
be depressed during pregnancy [odds ratio (OR) 10.00]. Offspring of mothers who
experienced only childhood maltreatment or only antenatal depression were no more
at risk of being maltreated or having psychopathology; however, offspring of
mothers who experienced both maternal childhood maltreatment and antenatal
depression were exposed to significantly greater levels of childhood maltreatment
and exhibited significantly higher levels of adolescent antisocial behaviour
compared with offspring not so exposed. Furthermore, maternal childhood
maltreatment accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in offspring
childhood maltreatment in only those offspring exposed to depression in
Maternal childhood maltreatment and maternal antenatal depression are highly
associated. The co-occurrence of both insults significantly increases the risk of
offspring adversity. The antenatal period is an optimum period to identify
vulnerable women and to provide interventions.