The parturograph is a composite record designed for the monitoring of fetal and maternal well-being and the progress of labour. It permits the early recognition of abnormalities and pinpoints the patients who would benefit most from intervention. Observations are made from the time of admission of the mother to the caseroom and recorded graphically. Factors assessed include fetal heart rate, maternal vital signs and urine, cervical dilatation, descent of the presenting fetal part, and frequency, duration and intensity of uterine contractions. (+info)
Hybrid capture II, a new sensitive test for human papillomavirus detection. Comparison with hybrid capture I and PCR results in cervical lesions.
AIM: To test a new assay for the detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA, hybrid capture II (HC II), compared with the previous commercialized hybrid capture I (HC I) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results on cervical scrapes from fresh cone excision biopsy samples. METHODS: The three methods were used on cervical scrapes from 42 fresh cone excision biopsy samples. There were nine metaplastic and inflammatory lesions, five low grade lesions, and 28 high grade lesions. PCR was performed using the general primers GP5+/GP6+. The viral load of high risk HPV DNA was estimated by the ratio of relative light units to positive control values in the samples. RESULTS: The sensitivity of HC I for the detection of high grade lesions was 71.4%, while it was 92.8% for HC II and 96.4% for the PCR. Considering only the absence of detectable cervical in situ neoplasia, the specificity was 88.9% for HC I, 66.7% for HC II, and 66.7% for PCR. With HC II, for a ratio of cervical sample to normal control of > 200, the sensitivity for the detection of high grade lesion was only 34.6% with a specificity of 66.7%. CONCLUSIONS: HPV detection with the HC II assay is more sensitive than the previous HC I and represents a more convenient and easier test than PCR for routine use. Nevertheless the viral load estimated with this test cannot be a reliable predictive indicator of high grade lesions. (+info)
Immunohistochemical expression of mdm2 and p21WAF1 in invasive cervical cancer: correlation with p53 protein and high risk HPV infection.
AIM: To investigate the immunocytochemical staining pattern of mdm2 and p21WAF1 proteins in invasive cervical cancer and to determine its relation with the expression of p53 and with the high risk HPV infection. METHODS: Immunocytochemistry for p53, mdm2, and p21WAF1 was performed in 31 paraffin embedded sections of invasive cervical cancer. The results were assessed by image analysis, evaluating for each protein the optical density of the immunostained area, scored as percentage of the total nuclear area. The presence of high risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection was detected by using the polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: Immunostaining for both mdm2 and p21WAF1 was correlated with p53 expression; however, the correlation between p53 and mdm2 (R = 0.49; p < 0.01) was more significant than between p53 and p21WAF1 (R = 0.31; p < 0.05); the less stringent correlation between p53 and p21WAF1 might reflect the p53 independent mechanisms of p21WAF1 induction. Similar average levels of p53, mdm2, and p21WAF1 immunostaining were found in the presence or absence of high risk HPV-DNA, without significant differences between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that mdm2 and p21WAF1 proteins are expressed in invasive cervical cancer and that their immunocytochemical staining pattern is not abrogated by the presence of high risk HPV genomic sequences. (+info)
Vitamin D regulates human ectocervical epithelial cell proliferation and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 level.
The differentiation status of the cervical epithelial cell has an important influence on responsiveness to estrogens and progestins. Several agents, including glucocorticoids and retinoids, are known to influence cervical cell differentiation. However, the effects of vitamin D have not been examined. Vitamin D is known to regulate cell proliferation and gene expression in a variety of epithelial cells. In the present study we investigated the ability of 1alpha25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (D3) to regulate cell proliferation and expression of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) in human ectocervical epithelial cells. ECE16-1, a non-tumorigenic cervical cell line, was growth inhibited by D3 with maximal inhibition at 1000 nM. IGFBP-3 levels increased in parallel with the growth inhibition. IGFBP-3 levels were half-maximally increased at approximately 10-100 nM and maximally increased (10- to 30-fold) at 1000 nM D3. These studies show that vitamin D regulates cervical epithelial cell gene regulation and cell proliferation and that IGFBP-3 may be an in vivo marker of vitamin D action in the cervix. (+info)
Mechanism of action and clinical effects of antiprogestins on the non-pregnant uterus.
Considerable progress has been made in elucidating the mechanism of action of antiprogestins. The biological response to a progesterone antagonist depends on many factors. The usual effect is that of an antagonist, but progesterone agnostic or even antioestrogenic or oestrogenic effects have also been observed. The present review focuses on the clinical applications of antiprogestins in the non-pregnant uterus. Whereas high doses of antiprogestins block ovulation, low doses impair endometrial development without affecting ovulation, hormonal levels or bleeding patterns Indeed, the endometrium is the tissue which is the most sensitive to antiprogestins. The effect of antiprogestins is to produce a delay in endometrial maturation and to postpone the appearance of the implantation window. This concept of 'endometrial contraception' requires further testing in humans, although the principle has been proven in monkeys. In contrast to the low doses of mifepristone which delay endometrial maturation, a minimum dose of 50 mg is required to produce endometrial bleeding. Late luteal phase antiprogestin administration does not disturb ovulation, hormonal levels or bleeding patterns. This has clinical application, and mifepristone has been used together with prostaglandins in women with delayed menses to successfully prevent implantation. Mifepristone has also been shown to be an effective post-coital agent. However, when used on a regular basis once monthly at the end of the cycle as a potential contraceptive, the results are disappointing. Because of their antiproliferative and anti-oestrogenic effects on the endometrium, antiprogestins are also used in the treatment of oestrogen-dependent conditions such as endometriosis and fibromyomas. In humans, chronic administration of high doses of antiprogestins has on rare occasions been associated with endometrial hyperplasia, presumably a consequence of unopposed oestrogen activity. This does not occur with low doses (1 mg daily for 5 months). (+info)
Sonographic evidence for the involvement of the utero-ovarian counter-current system in the ovarian control of directed uterine sperm transport.
Sperm transport from the cervix into the tube is an important uterine function within the process of reproduction. This function is exerted by uterine peristalsis and is controlled by the dominant ovarian structure via a cascade of endocrine events. The uterine peristaltic activity involves only the stratum subvasculare of the myometrium, which exhibits a predominantly circular arrangement of muscular fibres that separate at the fundal level into the fibres of the cornua and continue into the circular muscles of the respective tubes. Since spermatozoa are transported preferentially into the tube ipsilateral to the dominant follicle, this asymmetric uterine function may be controlled by the ovary via direct effects utilizing the utero-ovarian counter-current system, in addition to the systemic circulation. To test this possibility the sonographic characteristics of the uterine vascular bed were studied during different phases of the menstrual cycle. Vaginal sonography with the measurement of Doppler flow characteristics of both uterine arteries and of the arterial anastomoses of the uterine and ovarian arteries (junctional vessels) in the cornual region of both sides of the uterus during the menstrual phase of regular-cycling women demonstrated significant lower resistance indices of the junctional vessels ipsilateral to the side of the dominant ovarian structure as compared with the corresponding arteries contralaterally. By the use of the perfusion mode technique, it could be observed that vascular perfusion of the fundal myometrium was significantly increased ipsilateral to the dominant follicle during the late follicular phase of the cycle. These results show that the endocrine control of the dominant ovarian structure over uterine function is not only exerted via the systemic circulation but also directly, most probably utilizing the utero-ovarian counter-current system. (+info)
Control and assessment of the uterus and cervix during pregnancy and labour.
Preterm labour and resultant preterm birth are the most important problems in perinatology. Countless efforts have failed to establish a single effective treatment of preterm labour, partly because the mechanisms regulating the uterus and cervix during pregnancy are not well understood. New knowledge is needed to inhibit early progression of labour (uterine contractility and cervical ripening), and adequate quantitative tools to evaluate the uterus and cervix during pregnancy are lacking. In this review, we outline studies showing that the uterus (myometrium) and cervix pass through a conditioning step in preparation for labour. This step is not easily identifiable with present methods to assess the uterus or cervix. In the uterus, this seemingly irreversible step consists of changes in the electrical properties to make muscle more excitable and responsive to produce forceful contractions. In the cervix, the step consists of softening of the connective tissue components. Progesterone appears to have a dominant role in controlling both the uterus and cervix, as antiprogestins induce early, preterm conditioning leading to preterm labour. Apparently, nitric oxide (NO) also controls conditioning of the uterus and cervix. In the uterus, NO, in concert with progesterone, inhibits uterine contractility. At term, NO production by the uterus and placenta are decreased and allow labour to progress. In contrast, NO in the cervix increases at the end of pregnancy and it may be the final pathway for stimulating cervical ripening by activation of metalloenzymes. The progress of labour can be assessed non-invasively using electromyographic (EMG) signals from the uterus (the driving force for contractility) recorded from the abdominal surface. Uterine EMG bursts detected in this manner characterize uterine contractile events during human and animal pregnancy. A low uterine EMG activity, measured transabdominally throughout most of pregnancy, rises dramatically during labour. EMG activity also increases substantially during preterm labour in humans and rats. This method may be used one day to predict impending preterm labour and identify control steps and treatments. A quantitative method also assesses the cervix, using an optical device which measures collagen fluorescence in the cervix. The collascope estimates cervical collagen content from a fluorescent signal generated when collagen cross-links are illuminated with excitation light of about 340 nm. The system has proved useful in rats and humans at various stages of pregnancy, and indicates that cervical softening occurs progressively in the last one-third of pregnancy. In rats, collascope readings correlate with resistance measurements made in the isolated cervix, which may help to assess cervical function during pregnancy, and indicate control and treatments. (+info)
Identification of Neisseria gonorrhoeae from primary cultures by a slide agglutination test.
Hen antigonococcal lipopolysaccharide hen serum was used in a simple slide agglutination test for the identification of Neisseria gonorrhoeae from primary isolates. (+info)