(1/1926) Sperm transport in the human female genital tract and its modulation by oxytocin as assessed by hysterosalpingoscintigraphy, hysterotonography, electrohysterography and Doppler sonography.

The transport function of the uterus and oviducts and its modulation by oxytocin has been examined using hysterosalpingoscintigraphy, recording of intrauterine pressure, electrohysterography and Doppler sonography of the Fallopian tubes. After application to the posterior vaginal fornix, a rapid (within minutes) uptake of the labelled particles into the uterus was observed during the follicular and during the luteal phase of the cycle in all patients. Transport into the oviducts, however, could only be demonstrated during the follicular phase. Transport was directed predominantly into the tube ipsilateral to the ovary bearing the dominant follicle; the contralateral oviduct appeared to be functionally closed. The proportion of patients exhibiting ipsilateral transport did increase concomitant with the increase of the diameter of the dominant follicle. That ipsilateral transport has biological significance is suggested by the observation that the pregnancy rate following spontaneous intercourse or insemination was significantly higher in those women in whom ipsilateral transport could be demonstrated than in those who failed to exhibit lateralization. Oxytocin administration was followed by a dramatic increase in the amount of material transported to the ipsilateral tube, as demonstrated by radionuclide imaging and by Doppler sonography following instillation of ultrasound contrast medium. Continuous recording of intrauterine pressure before and after oxytocin administration did show an increase in basal tonus and amplitude of contractions and a reversal of the pressure gradient from a fundo-cervical to a cervico-fundal direction. These actions of oxytocin were accompanied by an increase in amplitude of potentials recorded by electrohysterography. These data support the view that uterus and Fallopian tubes represent a functional unit that is acting as a peristaltic pump and that the increasing activity of this pump during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle is reflected by an increased transport into the oviduct ipsilateral to the ovary bearing the dominant follicle. In addition, they strongly suggest a critical role of oxytocin in this process. Failure of this mechanism appears to be a cause of subfertility or infertility, as indicated by the low pregnancy rate following intrauterine insemination or normal intercourse in the presence of patent Fallopian tubes. It may be regarded as a new nosological entity for which we propose the term tubal transport disorder (TTD). Since pregnancy rate of such patients is normal when treated with in-vitro fertilization (IVF), hysterosalpingoscintigraphy seems to be useful for the choice of treatment modalities in patients with patent Fallopian tubes suffering from infertility.  (+info)

(2/1926) 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)

(3/1926) CT angiography and Doppler sonography for emergency assessment in acute basilar artery ischemia.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Both Doppler sonography (DS) and spiral CT angiography (CTA) are noninvasive vascular assessment tools with a high potential for application in acute cerebral ischemia. The usefulness of CTA for vascular diagnosis in acute basilar artery (BA) ischemia has not yet been studied. METHODS: We prospectively studied 19 patients (mean+/-SD age, 58+/-11 years) with clinically suspected acute BA occlusion by DS and CTA. Prior extracranial and transcranial DS was performed in all but 1 patient, with DS 4 hours after CTA. In 6 of 19 patients, we performed digital subtraction angiography. RESULTS: CTA was diagnostic in all but 1 patient. CTA revealed complete BA occlusion in 9 patients and incomplete BA occlusion with some residual flow in 2 patients. A patent BA was shown in 7 patients. Because of severe BA calcification, CTA results were inconclusive in 1 patient. DS was diagnostic in only 7 of 19 patients, indicating certain BA occlusion in 3 patients and BA patency in 4 patients. In an additional 9 patients, the results of DS were inconclusive. DS was false-negative in 2 patients with distal BA occlusion shown by CTA and digital subtraction angiography. In 1 patient with DS performed after CTA, recanalization was demonstrated. In addition to the diagnosis or exclusion of BA occlusion, CTA provided information on the exact site and length of BA occlusion and collateral pathways. In our series, CTA results prompted indication for intra-arterial thrombolysis in 5 patients. CONCLUSIONS: CTA was superior to DS in the assessment of BA patency in patients with the syndrome of acute BA ischemia in terms of feasibility and conclusiveness, particularly in cases with distal BA occlusion. Our study confirmed the usefulness of combined extracranial and transcranial DS in the diagnosis and exclusion of proximal BA occlusion.  (+info)

(4/1926) The tourniquet in total knee arthroplasty. A prospective, randomised study.

We assessed the influence of the use of a tourniquet in total knee arthroplasty in a prospective, randomised study. After satisfying exclusion criteria, we divided 77 patients into two groups, one to undergo surgery with a tourniquet and one without. Both groups were well matched. The mean change in knee flexion in the group that had surgery without a tourniquet was significantly better at one week (p = 0.03) than in the other group, but movement was similar at six weeks and at four months. There was no significant difference in the surgical time, postoperative pain, need for analgesia, the volume collected in the drains, postoperative swelling, and the incidence of wound complications or of deep-venous thrombosis. We conclude that the use of a tourniquet is safe and that current practice can be continued.  (+info)

(5/1926) Quantification of collateral flow in humans: a comparison of angiographic, electrocardiographic and hemodynamic variables.

OBJECTIVES: Evaluation of collateral vascular circulation according to hemodynamic variables and its relation to myocardial ischemia. BACKGROUND: There is limited information regarding the hemodynamic quantification of recruitable collateral vessels. METHODS: Angiography of the donor coronary artery was performed before and during balloon coronary occlusion in 63 patients with one vessel disease. Patients were divided into groups of those with an absence of collateral vessels (group 1, n = 10), those with recruitable collateral vessels (group 2, n = 23) and those with spontaneously visible collateral vessels (group 3, n = 30). During balloon inflation the coronary wedge/aortic pressure ratio (Pw/Pao) was determined as were collateral blood flow velocity variables, using a 0.014" Doppler guide wire. Myocardial ischemia was defined as > or =0.1 mV ST-shift on a 12 lead electrocardiogram at 1 min coronary occlusion. RESULTS: Myocardial ischemia was present in all patients of group 1, in 14 patients of group 2 and in 3 patients of group 3. Recruitable collateral flow without ischemia showed similar hemodynamic values as in group 3 while these values were similar to group 1 in regard to the presence of recruitable collateral vessels showing ischemia. Logistic regression analysis revealed both Pw/Pao and Vi(col) as independent predictors for the function of collateral vessels. CONCLUSIONS: Hemodynamic variables of collateral vascular circulation are better markers of the functional significance of collateral vessels than is coronary angiography. The total collateral blood flow velocity integral and coronary wedge/aortic pressure ratio are good and independent predictors of the function of collateral vessels producing complementary information.  (+info)

(6/1926) Percutaneous revascularization of atherosclerotic obstruction of aortic arch vessels.

OBJECTIVES: To compare stenting of aortic arch vessel obstruction with surgical therapy and to establish recommendations for treatment. BACKGROUND: Though surgery has been considered to be the procedure of choice for subclavian and brachiocephalic obstruction, little work has been done to compare it with stenting. METHODS: Eighteen patients with symptomatic aortic arch vessel stenosis or occlusion were treated with stenting, followed by periodic clinical follow-up and noninvasive arterial Doppler studies. Data were compared with the results as shown in a systematic review of a published series of surgery and stenting procedures which included comparison of technical success, complications, mortality and patency. RESULTS: Primary success in our series was 100% with improvement in mean stenosis from 84+/-11% to 1+/-5% and mean arm systolic blood pressure difference from 44+/-16 mm Hg to 3+/-3 mm Hg. There were no major complications (death, stroke, TIA, stent thrombosis or myocardial infarction). At follow-up (mean 17 months), all patients were asymptomatic with 100% primary patency. Literature review demonstrates equivalent patency and complications in the other published series of stenting. In contrast, there was a similar patency but overall incidence of stroke of 3+/-4% and death of 2+/-2% in the published surgical series. CONCLUSIONS: Subclavian or brachiocephalic artery obstruction can be effectively treated by primary stenting or surgery. Comparison of stenting and the surgical experience demonstrates equal effectiveness but fewer complications and suggests that stenting should be considered as first line therapy for subclavian or brachiocephalic obstruction.  (+info)

(7/1926) The presence of infection-related antiphospholipid antibodies in infective endocarditis determines a major risk factor for embolic events.

OBJECTIVES: The impact of infection-associated antiphospholipid antibodies (APA) on endothelial cell activation, blood coagulation and fibrinolysis was evaluated in patients with infective endocarditis with and without major embolic events. BACKGROUND: An embolic event is a common and severe complication of infective endocarditis. Despite the fact that APAs are known to be associated with infectious diseases, their pathogenic role in infective endocarditis has not been clearly defined. METHODS: The relationship among the occurrence of major embolic events, echocardiographic vegetation size, endothelial cell activation, thrombin generation, fibrinolysis and APA was examined in 91 patients with definite infective endocarditis, including 26 patients with embolic events and 65 control subjects without embolic events. RESULTS: Overall, 14.3% of patients exhibited elevated APA levels. Embolic events occurred more frequently in patients with elevated levels of APA than in patients without (61.5% vs. 23.1%; p = 0.008). Patients with elevated levels of APA showed higher levels of prothrombin-fragment F1 +2 (p = 0.005), plasminogen-activator inhibitor 1 (p = 0.0002), von Willebrand factor (p = 0.002) and lower levels of activated protein C (p = 0.001) than patients with normal levels of APA. Thrombin generation and endothelial cell activation were both positively correlated with levels of APA. The occurrence of elevated APA levels was frequently associated with structural valve abnormalities (p = 0.01) and vegetations >1.3 cm (p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Infection-associated elevated APA levels in patients with infective endocarditis are related to endothelial cell activation, thrombin generation and impairment of fibrinolysis. This may contribute to the increased risk for major embolic events in these patients.  (+info)

(8/1926) Circulatory changes induced by isovolumic increase in red cell mass in fetal lambs.

AIM: To verify whether extra uterine changes in total peripheral vascular resistance and cardiac output, caused by raised haematocrit, occur in fetal life and if they can be documented using conventional ultrasound techniques. METHODS: An exchange transfusion with packed red cells was performed on five fetal lambs at 140 days of gestation (weight 3.44, SD 0.48 kg); three others were used as controls. The haematocrit was raised from 44 +/- 3 to 64 (SD2)%. RESULTS: Body temperature, blood gas, and pH remained within normal limits. Blood viscosity increased from 5.3 (0.3) to 9.6 (1.6) cps. Combined cardiac output fell to 30% of its initial value. The pulsatility index (PI) remained unchanged in the umbilical artery (0.66, SD 0.1) and descending aorta (1.3, SD 0.3). A significant positive correlation was found between haematocrit and PI only in the carotid artery (r = 0.67, p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: In the fetus, as in adults, an increase in blood viscosity is associated with a fall in cardiac output. However, the low resistance and the relative inertia of the placental vascular bed blunt the velocimetric changes that could be induced in the lower body vascular system by an increase in resistance. Such changes were observed only in the carotid artery. These results could be of interest in the Doppler monitoring of human fetuses at risk of an abnormal increase in their haematocrit.  (+info)