Publications by authors named "Vicki Nisenblat"

12 Publications

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Transcriptome Landscape of Human Folliculogenesis Reveals Oocyte and Granulosa Cell Interactions.

Mol Cell 2018 12 21;72(6):1021-1034.e4. Epub 2018 Nov 21.

Center for Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Peking University Third Hospital, No. 49 North HuaYuan Road, HaiDian District, Beijing 100191, China; National Clinical Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beijing 100191, China; Key Laboratory of Assisted Reproduction, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100191, China. Electronic address:

The dynamic transcriptional regulation and interactions of human germlines and surrounding somatic cells during folliculogenesis remain unknown. Using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis of human oocytes and corresponding granulosa cells (GCs) spanning five follicular stages, we revealed unique features in transcriptional machinery, transcription factor networks, and reciprocal interactions in human oocytes and GCs that displayed developmental-stage-specific expression patterns. Notably, we identified specific gene signatures of two cell types in particular developmental stage that may reflect developmental competency and ovarian reserve. Additionally, we uncovered key pathways that may concert germline-somatic interactions and drive the transition of primordial-to-primary follicle, which represents follicle activation. Thus, our work provides key insights into the crucial features of the transcriptional regulation in the stepwise folliculogenesis and offers important clues for improving follicle recruitment in vivo and restoring fully competent oocytes in vitro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2018.10.029DOI Listing
December 2018

Combination of the non-invasive tests for the diagnosis of endometriosis.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016 Jul 13;7:CD012281. Epub 2016 Jul 13.

Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Medicine, Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, Level 6, Medical School North,, Frome Rd, Adelaide, SA, Australia, 5005.

Background: About 10% of women of reproductive age suffer from endometriosis, a costly chronic disease causing pelvic pain and subfertility. Laparoscopy is the gold standard diagnostic test for endometriosis, but is expensive and carries surgical risks. Currently, there are no non-invasive tests available in clinical practice to accurately diagnose endometriosis. This review assessed the diagnostic accuracy of combinations of different non-invasive testing modalities for endometriosis and provided a summary of all the reviews in the non-invasive tests for endometriosis series.

Objectives: To estimate the diagnostic accuracy of any combination of non-invasive tests for the diagnosis of pelvic endometriosis (peritoneal and/or ovarian or deep infiltrating) compared to surgical diagnosis as a reference standard. The combined tests were evaluated as replacement tests for diagnostic surgery and triage tests to assist decision-making to undertake diagnostic surgery for endometriosis.

Search Methods: We did not restrict the searches to particular study designs, language or publication dates. We searched CENTRAL to July 2015, MEDLINE and EMBASE to May 2015, as well as the following databases to April 2015: CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, LILACS, OAIster, TRIP, ClinicalTrials.gov, DARE and PubMed.

Selection Criteria: We considered published, peer-reviewed, randomised controlled or cross-sectional studies of any size, including prospectively collected samples from any population of women of reproductive age suspected of having one or more of the following target conditions: ovarian, peritoneal or deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE). We included studies comparing the diagnostic test accuracy of a combination of several testing modalities with the findings of surgical visualisation of endometriotic lesions.

Data Collection And Analysis: Three review authors independently collected and performed a quality assessment of the data from each study by using the QUADAS-2 tool. For each test, the data were classified as positive or negative for the surgical detection of endometriosis and sensitivity and specificity estimates were calculated. The bivariate model was planned to obtain pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity whenever sufficient data were available. The predetermined criteria for a clinically useful test to replace diagnostic surgery were a sensitivity of 0.94 and a specificity of 0.79 to detect endometriosis. We set the criteria for triage tests at a sensitivity of 0.95 and above and a specificity of 0.50 and above, which 'rules out' the diagnosis with high accuracy if there is a negative test result (SnOUT test), or a sensitivity of 0.50 and above and a specificity of 0.95 and above, which 'rules in' the diagnosis with high accuracy if there is a positive result (SpIN test).

Main Results: Eleven eligible studies included 1339 participants. All the studies were of poor methodological quality. Seven studies evaluated pelvic endometriosis, one study considered DIE and/or ovarian endometrioma, two studies differentiated endometrioma from other ovarian cysts and one study addressed mapping DIE at specific anatomical sites. Fifteen different diagnostic combinations were assessed, including blood, urinary or endometrial biomarkers, transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) and clinical history or examination. We did not pool estimates of sensitivity and specificity, as each study analysed independent combinations of the non-invasive tests.Tests that met the criteria for a replacement test were: a combination of serum IL-6 (cut-off >15.4 pg/ml) and endometrial PGP 9.5 for pelvic endometriosis (sensitivity 1.00 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.91 to 1.00), specificity 0.93 (95% CI, 0.80, 0.98) and the combination of vaginal examination and transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) for rectal endometriosis (sensitivity 0.96 (95% CI 0.86 to 0.99), specificity 0.98 (95% CI 0.94 to 1.00)). Tests that met the criteria for SpIN triage tests for pelvic endometriosis were: 1. a multiplication of urine vitamin-D-binding protein (VDBP) and serum CA-125 (cut-off >2755) (sensitivity 0.74 (95% CI 0.60 to 0.84), specificity 0.97 (95% CI 0.86 to 1.00)) and 2. a combination of history (length of menses), serum CA-125 (cut-off >35 U/ml) and endometrial leukocytes (sensitivity 0.61 (95% CI 0.54 to 0.69), specificity 0.95 (95% CI 0.91 to 0.98)). For endometrioma, the following combinations qualified as SpIN test: 1. TVUS and either serum CA-125 (cut-off ≥25 U/ml) or CA 19.9 (cut-off ≥12 U/ml) (sensitivity 0.79 (95% CI 0.64 to 0.91), specificity 0.97 (95% CI 0.91 to 1.00)); 2. TVUS and serum CA 19.9 (cut-off ≥12 U/ml) (sensitivity 0.54 (95% CI 0.37 to 0.70), specificity 0.97 (95% CI 0.91 to 1.0)); 3-4. TVUS and serum CA-125 (cut-off ≥20 U/ml or cut-off ≥25 U/ml) (sensitivity 0.69 (95% CI 0.49 to 0.85), specificity 0.96 (95% CI 0.88 to 0.99)); 5. TVUS and serum CA-125 (cut-off ≥35 U/ml) (sensitivity 0.52 (95% CI 0.33 to 0.71), specificity 0.97 (95% CI 0.90 to 1.00)). A combination of vaginal examination and TVUS reached the threshold for a SpIN test for obliterated pouch of Douglas (sensitivity 0.87 (95% CI 0.69 to 0.96), specificity 0.98 (95% CI 0.95 to 1.00)), vaginal wall endometriosis (sensitivity 0.82 (95% CI 0.60 to 0.95), specificity 0.99 (95% CI 0.97 to 1.0)) and rectovaginal septum endometriosis (sensitivity 0.88 (95% CI 0.47 to 1.00), specificity 0.99 (95% CI 0.96 to 1.00)).All the tests were evaluated in individual studies and displayed wide CIs. Due to the heterogeneity and high risk of bias of the included studies, the clinical utility of the studied combination diagnostic tests for endometriosis remains unclear.

Authors' Conclusions: None of the biomarkers evaluated in this review could be evaluated in a meaningful way and there was insufficient or poor-quality evidence. Laparoscopy remains the gold standard for the diagnosis of endometriosis and using any non-invasive tests should only be undertaken in a research setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6953325PMC
July 2016

Blood biomarkers for the non-invasive diagnosis of endometriosis.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016 May 1(5):CD012179. Epub 2016 May 1.

Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Medicine, Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, Level 6, Medical School North,, Frome Rd, Adelaide, SA, Australia, 5005.

Background: About 10% of reproductive-aged women suffer from endometriosis, a costly chronic disease causing pelvic pain and subfertility. Laparoscopy is the gold standard diagnostic test for endometriosis, but is expensive and carries surgical risks. Currently, there are no non-invasive or minimally invasive tests available in clinical practice to accurately diagnose endometriosis. Although other reviews have assessed the ability of blood tests to diagnose endometriosis, this is the first review to use Cochrane methods, providing an update on the rapidly expanding literature in this field.

Objectives: To evaluate blood biomarkers as replacement tests for diagnostic surgery and as triage tests to inform decisions on surgery for endometriosis. Specific objectives include:1. To provide summary estimates of the diagnostic accuracy of blood biomarkers for the diagnosis of peritoneal, ovarian and deep infiltrating pelvic endometriosis, compared to surgical diagnosis as a reference standard.2. To assess the diagnostic utility of biomarkers that could differentiate ovarian endometrioma from other ovarian masses.

Search Methods: We did not restrict the searches to particular study designs, language or publication dates. We searched CENTRAL to July 2015, MEDLINE and EMBASE to May 2015, as well as these databases to 20 April 2015: CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, LILACS, OAIster, TRIP, ClinicalTrials.gov, DARE and PubMed.

Selection Criteria: We considered published, peer-reviewed, randomised controlled or cross-sectional studies of any size, including prospectively collected samples from any population of reproductive-aged women suspected of having one or more of the following target conditions: ovarian, peritoneal or deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE). We included studies comparing the diagnostic test accuracy of one or more blood biomarkers with the findings of surgical visualisation of endometriotic lesions.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two authors independently collected and performed a quality assessment of data from each study. For each diagnostic test, we classified the data as positive or negative for the surgical detection of endometriosis, and we calculated sensitivity and specificity estimates. We used the bivariate model to obtain pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity whenever sufficient datasets were available. The predetermined criteria for a clinically useful blood test to replace diagnostic surgery were a sensitivity of 0.94 and a specificity of 0.79 to detect endometriosis. We set the criteria for triage tests at a sensitivity of ≥ 0.95 and a specificity of ≥ 0.50, which 'rules out' the diagnosis with high accuracy if there is a negative test result (SnOUT test), or a sensitivity of ≥ 0.50 and a specificity of ≥ 0.95, which 'rules in' the diagnosis with high accuracy if there is a positive result (SpIN test).

Main Results: We included 141 studies that involved 15,141 participants and evaluated 122 blood biomarkers. All the studies were of poor methodological quality. Studies evaluated the blood biomarkers either in a specific phase of the menstrual cycle or irrespective of the cycle phase, and they tested for them in serum, plasma or whole blood. Included women were a selected population with a high frequency of endometriosis (10% to 85%), in which surgery was indicated for endometriosis, infertility work-up or ovarian mass. Seventy studies evaluated the diagnostic performance of 47 blood biomarkers for endometriosis (44 single-marker tests and 30 combined tests of two to six blood biomarkers). These were angiogenesis/growth factors, apoptosis markers, cell adhesion molecules, high-throughput markers, hormonal markers, immune system/inflammatory markers, oxidative stress markers, microRNAs, tumour markers and other proteins. Most of these biomarkers were assessed in small individual studies, often using different cut-off thresholds, and we could only perform meta-analyses on the data sets for anti-endometrial antibodies, interleukin-6 (IL-6), cancer antigen-19.9 (CA-19.9) and CA-125. Diagnostic estimates varied significantly between studies for each of these biomarkers, and CA-125 was the only marker with sufficient data to reliably assess sources of heterogeneity.The mean sensitivities and specificities of anti-endometrial antibodies (4 studies, 759 women) were 0.81 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.76 to 0.87) and 0.75 (95% CI 0.46 to 1.00). For IL-6, with a cut-off value of > 1.90 to 2.00 pg/ml (3 studies, 309 women), sensitivity was 0.63 (95% CI 0.52 to 0.75) and specificity was 0.69 (95% CI 0.57 to 0.82). For CA-19.9, with a cut-off value of > 37.0 IU/ml (3 studies, 330 women), sensitivity was 0.36 (95% CI 0.26 to 0.45) and specificity was 0.87 (95% CI 0.75 to 0.99).Studies assessed CA-125 at different thresholds, demonstrating the following mean sensitivities and specificities: for cut-off > 10.0 to 14.7 U/ml: 0.70 (95% CI 0.63 to 0.77) and 0.64 (95% CI 0.47 to 0.82); for cut-off > 16.0 to 17.6 U/ml: 0.56 (95% CI 0.24, 0.88) and 0.91 (95% CI 0.75, 1.00); for cut-off > 20.0 U/ml: 0.67 (95% CI 0.50 to 0.85) and 0.69 (95% CI 0.58 to 0.80); for cut-off > 25.0 to 26.0 U/ml: 0.73 (95% CI 0.67 to 0.79) and 0.70 (95% CI 0.63 to 0.77); for cut-off > 30.0 to 33.0 U/ml: 0.62 (95% CI 0.45 to 0.79) and 0.76 (95% CI 0.53 to 1.00); and for cut-off > 35.0 to 36.0 U/ml: 0.40 (95% CI 0.32 to 0.49) and 0.91 (95% CI 0.88 to 0.94).We could not statistically evaluate other biomarkers meaningfully, including biomarkers that were assessed for their ability to differentiate endometrioma from other benign ovarian cysts.Eighty-two studies evaluated 97 biomarkers that did not differentiate women with endometriosis from disease-free controls. Of these, 22 biomarkers demonstrated conflicting results, with some studies showing differential expression and others no evidence of a difference between the endometriosis and control groups.

Authors' Conclusions: Of the biomarkers that were subjected to meta-analysis, none consistently met the criteria for a replacement or triage diagnostic test. A subset of blood biomarkers could prove useful either for detecting pelvic endometriosis or for differentiating ovarian endometrioma from other benign ovarian masses, but there was insufficient evidence to draw meaningful conclusions. Overall, none of the biomarkers displayed enough accuracy to be used clinically outside a research setting. We also identified blood biomarkers that demonstrated no diagnostic value in endometriosis and recommend focusing research resources on evaluating other more clinically useful biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012179DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7076288PMC
May 2016

Endometrial biomarkers for the non-invasive diagnosis of endometriosis.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016 Apr 20;4:CD012165. Epub 2016 Apr 20.

Auckland District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand.

Background: About 10% of reproductive-aged women suffer from endometriosis, which is a costly, chronic disease that causes pelvic pain and subfertility. Laparoscopy is the gold standard diagnostic test for endometriosis, but it is expensive and carries surgical risks. Currently, there are no non-invasive tests available in clinical practice that accurately diagnose endometriosis. This is the first diagnostic test accuracy review of endometrial biomarkers for endometriosis that utilises Cochrane methodologies, providing an update on the rapidly expanding literature in this field.

Objectives: To determine the diagnostic accuracy of the endometrial biomarkers for pelvic endometriosis, using a surgical diagnosis as the reference standard. We evaluated the tests as replacement tests for diagnostic surgery and as triage tests to inform decisions to undertake surgery for endometriosis.

Search Methods: We did not restrict the searches to particular study designs, language or publication dates. To identify trials, we searched the following databases: CENTRAL (2015, July), MEDLINE (inception to May 2015), EMBASE (inception to May 2015), CINAHL (inception to April 2015), PsycINFO (inception to April 2015), Web of Science (inception to April 2015), LILACS (inception to April 2015), OAIster (inception to April 2015), TRIP (inception to April 2015) and ClinicalTrials.gov (inception to April 2015). We searched DARE and PubMed databases up to April 2015 to identify reviews and guidelines as sources of references to potentially relevant studies. We also performed searches for papers recently published and not yet indexed in the major databases. The search strategies incorporated words in the title, abstract, text words across the record and the medical subject headings (MeSH).

Selection Criteria: We considered published peer-reviewed, randomised controlled or cross-sectional studies of any size that included prospectively collected samples from any population of reproductive-aged women suspected of having one or more of the following target conditions: ovarian, peritoneal or deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE).

Data Collection And Analysis: Two authors independently extracted data from each study and performed a quality assessment. For each endometrial diagnostic test, we classified the data as positive or negative for the surgical detection of endometriosis and calculated the estimates of sensitivity and specificity. We considered two or more tests evaluated in the same cohort as separate data sets. We used the bivariate model to obtain pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity whenever sufficient data were available. The predetermined criteria for a clinically useful test to replace diagnostic surgery was one with a sensitivity of 94% and a specificity of 79%. The criteria for triage tests were set at sensitivity at or above 95% and specificity at or above 50%, which in case of negative results rules out the diagnosis (SnOUT test) or sensitivity at or above 50% with specificity at or above 95%, which in case of positive result rules in the diagnosis (SpIN test).

Main Results: We included 54 studies involving 2729 participants, most of which were of poor methodological quality. The studies evaluated endometrial biomarkers either in specific phases of the menstrual cycle or outside of it, and the studies tested the biomarkers either in menstrual fluid, in whole endometrial tissue or in separate endometrial components. Twenty-seven studies evaluated the diagnostic performance of 22 endometrial biomarkers for endometriosis. These were angiogenesis and growth factors (PROK-1), cell-adhesion molecules (integrins α3β1, α4β1, β1 and α6), DNA-repair molecules (hTERT), endometrial and mitochondrial proteome, hormonal markers (CYP19, 17βHSD2, ER-α, ER-β), inflammatory markers (IL-1R2), myogenic markers (caldesmon, CALD-1), neural markers (PGP 9.5, VIP, CGRP, SP, NPY, NF) and tumour markers (CA-125). Most of these biomarkers were assessed in single studies, whilst only data for PGP 9.5 and CYP19 were available for meta-analysis. These two biomarkers demonstrated significant diversity for the diagnostic estimates between the studies; however, the data were too limited to reliably determine the sources of heterogeneity. The mean sensitivities and specificities of PGP 9.5 (7 studies, 361 women) were 0.96 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.91 to 1.00) and 0.86 (95% CI 0.70 to 1.00), after excluding one outlier study, and for CYP19 (8 studies, 444 women), they were were 0.77 (95% CI 0.70 to 0.85) and 0.74 (95% CI 0.65 to 84), respectively. We could not statistically evaluate other biomarkers in a meaningful way. An additional 31 studies evaluated 77 biomarkers that showed no evidence of differences in expression levels between the groups of women with and without endometriosis.

Authors' Conclusions: We could not statistically evaluate most of the biomarkers assessed in this review in a meaningful way. In view of the low quality of most of the included studies, the findings of this review should be interpreted with caution. Although PGP 9.5 met the criteria for a replacement test, it demonstrated considerable inter study heterogeneity in diagnostic estimates, the source of which could not be determined. Several endometrial biomarkers, such as endometrial proteome, 17βHSD2, IL-1R2, caldesmon and other neural markers (VIP, CGRP, SP, NPY and combination of VIP, PGP 9.5 and SP) showed promising evidence of diagnostic accuracy, but there was insufficient or poor quality evidence for any clinical recommendations. Laparoscopy remains the gold standard for the diagnosis of endometriosis, and using any non-invasive tests should only be undertaken in a research setting. We have also identified a number of biomarkers that demonstrated no diagnostic value for endometriosis. We recommend that researchers direct future studies towards biomarkers with high diagnostic potential in good quality diagnostic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6953323PMC
April 2016

Imaging modalities for the non-invasive diagnosis of endometriosis.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016 Feb 26;2:CD009591. Epub 2016 Feb 26.

Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Medicine, Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, Level 6, Medical School North,, Frome Rd, Adelaide, SA, Australia, 5005.

Background: About 10% of women of reproductive age suffer from endometriosis. Endometriosis is a costly chronic disease that causes pelvic pain and subfertility. Laparoscopy, the gold standard diagnostic test for endometriosis, is expensive and carries surgical risks. Currently, no non-invasive tests that can be used to accurately diagnose endometriosis are available in clinical practice. This is the first review of diagnostic test accuracy of imaging tests for endometriosis that uses Cochrane methods to provide an update on the rapidly expanding literature in this field.

Objectives: • To provide estimates of the diagnostic accuracy of imaging modalities for the diagnosis of pelvic endometriosis, ovarian endometriosis and deeply infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) versus surgical diagnosis as a reference standard.• To describe performance of imaging tests for mapping of deep endometriotic lesions in the pelvis at specific anatomical sites.Imaging tests were evaluated as replacement tests for diagnostic surgery and as triage tests that would assist decision making regarding diagnostic surgery for endometriosis.

Search Methods: We searched the following databases to 20 April 2015: MEDLINE, CENTRAL, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, LILACS, OAIster, TRIP, ClinicalTrials.gov, MEDION, DARE, and PubMed. Searches were not restricted to a particular study design or language nor to specific publication dates. The search strategy incorporated words in the title, abstracts, text words across the record and medical subject headings (MeSH).

Selection Criteria: We considered published peer-reviewed cross-sectional studies and randomised controlled trials of any size that included prospectively recruited women of reproductive age suspected of having one or more of the following target conditions: endometrioma, pelvic endometriosis, DIE or endometriotic lesions at specific intrapelvic anatomical locations. We included studies that compared the diagnostic test accuracy of one or more imaging modalities versus findings of surgical visualisation of endometriotic lesions.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two review authors independently collected and performed a quality assessment of data from each study. For each imaging test, data were classified as positive or negative for surgical detection of endometriosis, and sensitivity and specificity estimates were calculated. If two or more tests were evaluated in the same cohort, each was considered as a separate data set. We used the bivariate model to obtain pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity when sufficient data sets were available. Predetermined criteria for a clinically useful imaging test to replace diagnostic surgery included sensitivity ≥ 94% and specificity ≥ 79%. Criteria for triage tests were set at sensitivity ≥ 95% and specificity ≥ 50%, ruling out the diagnosis with a negative result (SnNout test - if sensitivity is high, a negative test rules out pathology) or at sensitivity ≥ 50% with specificity ≥ 95%, ruling in the diagnosis with a positive result (SpPin test - if specificity is high, a positive test rules in pathology).

Main Results: We included 49 studies involving 4807 women: 13 studies evaluated pelvic endometriosis, 10 endometriomas and 15 DIE, and 33 studies addressed endometriosis at specific anatomical sites. Most studies were of poor methodological quality. The most studied modalities were transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with outcome measures commonly demonstrating diversity in diagnostic estimates; however, sources of heterogeneity could not be reliably determined. No imaging test met the criteria for a replacement or triage test for detecting pelvic endometriosis, albeit TVUS approached the criteria for a SpPin triage test. For endometrioma, TVUS (eight studies, 765 participants; sensitivity 0.93 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.87, 0.99), specificity 0.96 (95% CI 0.92, 0.99)) qualified as a SpPin triage test and approached the criteria for a replacement and SnNout triage test, whereas MRI (three studies, 179 participants; sensitivity 0.95 (95% CI 0.90, 1.00), specificity 0.91 (95% CI 0.86, 0.97)) met the criteria for a replacement and SnNout triage test and approached the criteria for a SpPin test. For DIE, TVUS (nine studies, 12 data sets, 934 participants; sensitivity 0.79 (95% CI 0.69, 0.89) and specificity 0.94 (95% CI 0.88, 1.00)) approached the criteria for a SpPin triage test, and MRI (six studies, seven data sets, 266 participants; sensitivity 0.94 (95% CI 0.90, 0.97), specificity 0.77 (95% CI 0.44, 1.00)) approached the criteria for a replacement and SnNout triage test. Other imaging tests assessed in small individual studies could not be statistically evaluated.TVUS met the criteria for a SpPin triage test in mapping DIE to uterosacral ligaments, rectovaginal septum, vaginal wall, pouch of Douglas (POD) and rectosigmoid. MRI met the criteria for a SpPin triage test for POD and vaginal and rectosigmoid endometriosis. Transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) might qualify as a SpPin triage test for rectosigmoid involvement but could not be adequately assessed for other anatomical sites because heterogeneous data were scant. Multi-detector computerised tomography enema (MDCT-e) displayed the highest diagnostic performance for rectosigmoid and other bowel endometriosis and met the criteria for both SpPin and SnNout triage tests, but studies were too few to provide meaningful results.Diagnostic accuracies were higher for TVUS with bowel preparation (TVUS-BP) and rectal water contrast (RWC-TVS) and for 3.0TMRI than for conventional methods, although the paucity of studies precluded statistical evaluation.

Authors' Conclusions: None of the evaluated imaging modalities were able to detect overall pelvic endometriosis with enough accuracy that they would be suggested to replace surgery. Specifically for endometrioma, TVUS qualified as a SpPin triage test. MRI displayed sufficient accuracy to suggest utility as a replacement test, but the data were too scant to permit meaningful conclusions. TVUS could be used clinically to identify additional anatomical sites of DIE compared with MRI, thus facilitating preoperative planning. Rectosigmoid endometriosis was the only site that could be accurately mapped by using TVUS, TRUS, MRI or MDCT-e. Studies evaluating recent advances in imaging modalities such as TVUS-BP, RWC-TVS, 3.0TMRI and MDCT-e were observed to have high diagnostic accuracies but were too few to allow prudent evaluation of their diagnostic role. In view of the low quality of most of the included studies, the findings of this review should be interpreted with caution. Future well-designed diagnostic studies undertaken to compare imaging tests for diagnostic test accuracy and costs are recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD009591.pub2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7100540PMC
February 2016

Urinary biomarkers for the non-invasive diagnosis of endometriosis.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015 Dec 23(12):CD012019. Epub 2015 Dec 23.

Fertility PLUS, Auckland District Health Board, Greenlane Clinical Centre, Private Bag 92189, Auckland, New Zealand.

Background: About 10% of reproductive-aged women suffer from endometriosis which is a costly chronic disease that causes pelvic pain and subfertility. Laparoscopy is the 'gold standard' diagnostic test for endometriosis, but it is expensive and carries surgical risks. Currently, there are no simple non-invasive or minimally-invasive tests available in clinical practice that accurately diagnoses endometriosis.

Objectives: 1. To provide summary estimates of the diagnostic accuracy of urinary biomarkers for the diagnosis of pelvic endometriosis compared to surgical diagnosis as a reference standard.2. To assess the diagnostic utility of biomarkers that could differentiate ovarian endometrioma from other ovarian masses.Urinary biomarkers were evaluated as replacement tests for surgical diagnosis and as triage tests to inform decisions to undertake surgery for endometriosis.

Search Methods: The searches were not restricted to particular study design, language or publication dates. We searched the following databases to 20 April - 31 July 2015: CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, LILACS, OAIster, TRIP and ClinicalTrials.gov (trial register). MEDION, DARE, and PubMed were also searched to identify reviews and guidelines as reference sources of potentially relevant studies. Recently published papers not yet indexed in the major databases were also sought. The search strategy incorporated words in the title, abstract, text words across the record and the medical subject headings (MeSH) and was modified for each database.

Selection Criteria: Published peer-reviewed, randomised controlled or cross-sectional studies of any size were considered, which included prospectively collected samples from any population of reproductive-aged women suspected of having one or more of the following target conditions: ovarian, peritoneal or deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE). We included studies comparing the diagnostic test accuracy of one or more urinary biomarkers with surgical visualisation of endometriotic lesions.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two authors independently collected and performed a quality assessment of the data from each study. For each diagnostic test, the data were classified as positive or negative for the surgical detection of endometriosis and sensitivity and specificity estimates were calculated. If two or more tests were evaluated in the same cohort, each was considered as a separate data set. The bivariate model was used to obtain pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity whenever sufficient data sets were available. The predetermined criteria for a clinically useful urine test to replace diagnostic surgery was one with a sensitivity of 94% and a specificity of 79% to detect endometriosis. The criteria for triage tests were set at sensitivity of equal or greater than 95% and specificity of equal or greater than 50%, which in case of negative result rules out the diagnosis (SnOUT test) or sensitivity of equal or greater than 50% with specificity of equal or greater than 95%, which in case of positive result rules the diagnosis in (SpIN test).

Main Results: We included eight studies involving 646 participants, most of which were of poor methodological quality. The urinary biomarkers were evaluated either in a specific phase of menstrual cycle or irrespective of the cycle phase. Five studies evaluated the diagnostic performance of four urinary biomarkers for endometriosis, including three biomarkers distinguishing women with and without endometriosis (enolase 1 (NNE); vitamin D binding protein (VDBP); and urinary peptide profiling); and one biomarker (cytokeratin 19 (CK 19)) showing no significant difference between the two groups. All of these biomarkers were assessed in small individual studies and could not be statistically evaluated in a meaningful way. None of the biomarkers met the criteria for a replacement test or a triage test. Three studies evaluated three biomarkers that did not differentiate women with endometriosis from disease-free controls.

Authors' Conclusions: There was insufficient evidence to recommend any urinary biomarker for use as a replacement or triage test in clinical practice for the diagnosis of endometriosis. Several urinary biomarkers may have diagnostic potential, but require further evaluation before being introduced into routine clinical practice. Laparoscopy remains the gold standard for the diagnosis of endometriosis, and diagnosis of endometriosis using urinary biomarkers should only be undertaken in a research setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7081124PMC
December 2015

Lifestyle factors in people seeking infertility treatment - A review.

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol 2010 Feb;50(1):8-20

Level 6 Medical School, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Background: Clinical infertility is a prevalent problem with significant financial and psychosocial costs. Modifiable lifestyle factors exist that may affect a person's time to conception and their chance of having a healthy, live birth. However, no guideline delineates what preconception advice should be offered to people presenting for infertility treatment.

Aim: The aim of this article is to review the literature regarding modifiable lifestyle factors in people seeking infertility treatment.

Results: A person's time to pregnancy and their chance of having a healthy, live birth may be affected by factors such as weight, vitamin and iodine intake, alcohol and caffeine consumption, smoking, substance abuse, stress, environmental pollutants, vaccinations and oxidative stress.

Conclusions: Advice on modifiable lifestyle factors should be given to people presenting for infertility treatment to help them make positive changes that may improve their chances of pregnancy and delivering a healthy, live baby. Developing a guideline for this would be a prudent step towards helping clinicians to implement this aspect of preconception care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1479-828X.2009.01119.xDOI Listing
February 2010

The association between supra-physiological levels of estradiol and response patterns to experimental pain.

Eur J Pain 2010 Sep 2;14(8):840-6. Epub 2010 Mar 2.

ART Unit, Department of OB/GYN, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

The precise mechanism by which gonadal hormones influence pain perception is still obscure. However, no studies have examined experimental pain responses at supra-physiological hormone levels. This study explored the influence of pharmacological estradiol (E2) levels on the stability of pain perception obtained via quantitative sensory testing. A repeated measures design was used with 31 women, treated by a same In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) protocol. Patterns of experimental pain response were assessed in three different sessions (baseline, down regulation, maximal ovarian stimulation). Correlations between hormonal levels (E2, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH)) and pain perceptions were assessed at each session. While in the entire sample the pattern of response to pain stimulations remained unchanged regardless of hormonal manipulations, a greater pain sensitivity was associated with supra-physiological levels of E2 during the maximal ovarian stimulation session (for 47 degrees C stimulation: r=.383, p=0.044). Mixed model repeated measures ANOVA indicated that participants who over-responded to the ovarian stimulation session (E2 > 10,500 pmol/l) showed significant enhanced pain responses under this condition (p=0.004). No correlations between progesterone, LH and experimental pain perception were found in any of the study sessions. Although pain perceptions at different E2 levels remained constant, the enhancement of pain scoring at supra-physiological E2 levels, underscore the possible role of sex hormones in pain modulation and experience.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpain.2010.01.002DOI Listing
September 2010

Androgens and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 2009 Jun;16(3):224-31

Robinson Institute, School of Pediatrics and Reproductive Health, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Purpose Of Review: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common complex endocrine genetic disorder, which involves overproduction of androgens, leading to heterogeneous range of symptoms and associated with increased metabolic and cardiovascular morbidity. This review focuses on androgen biosynthesis, use, metabolism in PCOS and clinical consequences of hyperandrogenism.

Recent Findings: Controversial definition of the disorder and different phenotypic subgroups present a challenge for clinical and basic research. Further investigation of different phenotypes highlights the fact that PCOS probably represents a group of disorders with different etiologies. Prenatal androgen exposure and adolescent studies suggest early in life androgen excess as initiating factor of PCOS, but insufficient evidence available to confirm this hypothesis. Various intracellular signaling pathways implicated in PCOS steroidogenesis and in androgen action have been studied, however, PCOS pathogenesis remains obscure. Growing evidence links androgens with pathophysiology of PCOS and metabolic derangements.

Summary: Despite intensive investigation, etiology and underlying mechanisms of PCOS remain unclear, warranting further investigation. Better understanding of molecular and genetic basis might lead to invention of novel therapeutic approaches. Long-term interventional studies that lower androgen levels in women with hyperandrogenism might protect against metabolic and cardiovascular comorbidities are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MED.0b013e32832afd4dDOI Listing
June 2009

Dizygotic twin pregnancy discordant for sirenomelia.

J Ultrasound Med 2007 Jan;26(1):97-103

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.7863/jum.2007.26.1.97DOI Listing
January 2007

Fetal heart rate patterns and neurodevelopmental outcome in very low birth weight infants.

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2006 ;85(7):792-6

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Binai-Zion Medical Center and Rapport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.

Background: To evaluate the validity of fetal heart rate monitoring during the last hour prior to birth, as a predictor of long term neurodevelopmental outcome of very low birth weight infants.

Methods: A total of 111 very low birth weight infants were included in the study. Fetal heart rate tracings were obtained during the last hour prior to delivery. A perinatologist, blinded to the neonatal outcome, evaluated the tracings and divided them into three groups: reassuring, nonreassuring, and pathological. Neurodevelopmental status was evaluated at age 2 years. The relationship between fetal heart rate monitoring results and the neurodevelopmental outcome at 2 years of age was assessed with a chi-square test and the Student's t-test.

Results: At 2 years of age 97 (87.4%) of the children had normal neurodevelopmental function, while 14 (12.6%) had variable degrees of neurodevelopmental impairment. The fetal heart rate monitoring results were classified as reassuring (normal) in 35 cases (31.5%), nonreassuring in 56 cases (50.5%), and pathological in 20 cases (18.0%). Both normal and pathological fetal heart rate patterns were associated with similar incidence of abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome, 14.3% and 15.0% of cases, respectively (p=0.778). Pathological fetal heart rate patterns as a predictor of neurodevelopmental outcome had a sensitivity of 27%, specificity of 74%, positive predictive value of 15%, and negative predictive value of 86%.

Conclusion: Electronic fetal heart rate monitoring prior to delivery is not a reliable tool for the prediction of neurodevelopmental impairment in premature infants of very low birth weight, at 2 years of age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00016340500501707DOI Listing
August 2006

Primary ovarian ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosed as first-trimester missed abortion.

J Ultrasound Med 2005 Apr;24(4):539-43; quiz 544-5

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.7863/jum.2005.24.4.539DOI Listing
April 2005
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