Publications by authors named "W Rath"

424 Publications

Labour Induction with Misoprostol in German Obstetric Clinics: What Are the Facts on Such Use?

Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd 2021 Aug 9;81(8):955-965. Epub 2021 Aug 9.

Frauenklinik, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.

While the synthetic prostaglandin E1 analogue misoprostol is the most effect labour induction agent, its use is off-label for the most part. For this reason, and in view of its potential adverse effects and varying approaches to its administration, the drug has recently once again become a focus of critical attention. The objective of this survey was thus to establish a record of labour induction with misoprostol in German clinics and determine the impact of the negative reporting on everyday obstetric practice. In this cross-sectional study, 635 obstetrics and gynaecology departments in Germany were requested by email to participate in our survey in February/March 2020. Online responses to 19 questions were requested regarding the clinic, use of misoprostol before and after the critical reporting, use of misoprostol (sourcing, method of administration, dosage, monitoring) and other labour induction methods. A total of 262 (41.3%) of the clinics solicited for the survey completed the questionnaire. There were no differences regarding the care level (Perinatal Centre Level I, Perinatal Centre Level II, Clinic with Perinatal Focus or Obstetric/Private Clinic; p = 0.2104) or birth counts (p = 0.1845). In most cases, misoprostol was prepared in the clinic's own pharmacy (54%) or imported from another country (46%) and administered orally in tablet form (95%). Misoprostol dosage levels varied (25 µg [48%], 50 µg [83%], 75 µg [6%], 100 µg [47%] and > 100 µg [5%]). Most of the clinics used premanufactured tablets/capsules (59%), although Cytotec tablets were also divided (35%) or dissolved in water (5%). Misoprostol administration intervals were mainly every 4 hours (64%) or every 6 hours (30%). CTG checks were run in most cases before and after administration of a dose of misoprostol (78% and 76%) and before and after administration of a dose of prostaglandin E2 (both 88%). Presence of contractions led to no misoprostol (59%) or no prostaglandin E2 (64%) being administered in most cases. The critical reporting resulted in discontinuation of use of misoprostol in 17% of the clinics - mainly smaller obstetric/private clinics with fewer than 1000 births. Labour cocktails were used mainly in obstetric and private clinics (61%). Misoprostol is an established agent for labour induction in German clinics. The dosing schemes used vary. Improvements of currently common management practices are required, especially in the area of labour induction (CTG checks before and after administration of labour-inducing medication, no administration of prostaglandin if contractions are ongoing). The discussion of use of misoprostol in the media resulted in stoppage of its use mainly in smaller clinics.
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August 2021

Cervical ripening after cesarean section: a prospective dual center study comparing a mechanical osmotic dilator vs. prostaglandin E2.

J Perinat Med 2021 Sep 2;49(7):797-805. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vivantes Klinikum im Friedrichshain, Affiliate of Charité University, Berlin, Germany.

Objectives: Worldwide, the overall cesarean section is rising. Trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) is an overall safe option with an immediate impact on neonatal and maternal short- and long-term health. Since the use of prostaglandins in cervical ripening is associated with an increased risk of uterine rupture, mechanical methods as balloon catheters or osmotic dilators have been suggested for cervical ripening prior to induction of labour. Here we are analyzing and comparing the VBAC rate, as well as maternal and fetal outcome in cervical ripening prior to TOLAC.

Methods: This prospective dual center study analyses maternal and neonatal outcomes of TOLAC in women with an unfavorable cervix requiring cervical ripening agent. The prospective application of an osmotic dilator (Dilapan-S, n=104) was analysed in comparison to the retrospective application of off-label dinoprostone (n=102).

Results: The overall fetal and neonatal outcome revealed no significant differences in both groups. Patients receiving cervical ripening with the osmotic dilator delivered vaginally/by ventouse in 52% of cases, compared to 53% when using dinoprostone (p=0.603). The interval between application to onset of labor was significantly higher in the osmotic dilator group (37.9 vs.20.7 h, p=<0.001). However, time from onset of labor to delivery was similar in both groups (7.93 vs. 7.44 h, p=0.758). There was one case of uterine rupture in the dinoprostone group.

Conclusions: Our data shows that the application of the osmotic dilator leads to similar outcomes in VBAC rate and time from onset of labor to delivery as well as safety in both groups compared to off-label use dinoprostone. Cervical ripening using the mechanical dilator is a viable and effective option, without the risk of uterine hyperstimulation.
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September 2021

The rate of estrogen receptor-conversion associated with tumor progression in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer patients following adjuvant Tamoxifen administration.

Cancer Rep (Hoboken) 2021 Jun 4:e1431. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany.

Background: Hormone Receptor (HR)-discordance between primary breast cancer and metastasis is a known biological phenomenon. Discordance studies usually comprise a heterogeneous group of HR-positive and negative patients and allow for the comparison of changes in HR-status from the primary to the recurrent disease. However, in a clinical setting, the rate of estrogen receptor-conversion following endocrine therapy with agents such as Tamoxifen (TAM) in estrogen receptor-positive cancers is of primary interest as opposed to total receptor discordance.

Aim: To investigate the rate of estrogen receptor-conversion associated with tumor progression in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer patients following adjuvant TAM administration and to compare the results with the meta-analysis data of HR-discordance studies.

Methods And Results: A retrospective double-center review of biomarkers in 67 estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer patients who underwent TAM treatment in the adjuvant setting. The estrogen and progesterone receptor-status were compared at the time of diagnosis and following relapse and the Disease-free Survival (DFS), mean duration of TAM treatment as well as the operative, radiation, and cytotoxic therapies registered before TAM treatment, were recorded. Initially, all patients were estrogen receptor-positive. The average age at the time of diagnosis was 52.8 ± 12.4 years. After recurrence, only 47 patients (70.1%) were still estrogen receptor-positive with a highly significant loss of estrogen receptor-expression in 29.9% of cases. The mean duration of TAM treatment was 40.7 ± 19.9 months. 45 patients (i.e., 67.2%) progressed during the TAM treatment and the remaining 22 patients (32.8%) developed relapse after the TAM treatment had finished. Initially, there were 82.1% progesterone receptor-positive and 17.9% progesterone receptor-negative, but after relapse the progesterone receptor-positive cases diminished significantly to 53.7%, showing a progesterone receptor-loss of 28.4%.

Conclusion: The rate of estrogen receptor-loss associated with tumor progression following TAM treatment is approximately 30%, which is of clinical relevance in order to evaluate further endocrine efficacy in these patients. This rate of receptor conversion is roughly 6-13% higher compared to the recently published meta-analysis data of discordance studies. This discrepancy could possibly be due to anti-hormonal therapy with TAM accentuating receptor conversion.
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June 2021

Restricted dispersal in a sea of gene flow.

Proc Biol Sci 2021 05 19;288(1951):20210458. Epub 2021 May 19.

CEFE, PSL EPHE, Université Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, Montpellier, France.

How far do marine larvae disperse in the ocean? Decades of population genetic studies have revealed generally low levels of genetic structure at large spatial scales (hundreds of kilometres). Yet this result, typically based on discrete sampling designs, does not necessarily imply extensive dispersal. Here, we adopt a continuous sampling strategy along 950 km of coast in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea to address this question in four species. In line with expectations, we observe weak genetic structure at a large spatial scale. Nevertheless, our continuous sampling strategy uncovers a pattern of isolation by distance at small spatial scales (few tens of kilometres) in two species. Individual-based simulations indicate that this signal is an expected signature of restricted dispersal. At the other extreme of the connectivity spectrum, two pairs of individuals that are closely related genetically were found more than 290 km apart, indicating long-distance dispersal. Such a combination of restricted dispersal with rare long-distance dispersal events is supported by a high-resolution biophysical model of larval dispersal in the study area, and we posit that it may be common in marine species. Our results bridge population genetic studies with direct dispersal studies and have implications for the design of marine reserve networks.
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May 2021

Profiling of intact blood proteins by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry without the need for freezing - Dried serum spots as future clinical tools for patient screening.

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 2021 Jul;35(14):e9121

Proteome Center Rostock, Medical Faculty and Natural Science Faculty, University of Rostock, Schillingallee 69, Rostock, 18057, Germany.

Rationale: To open up new ways for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS)-based patient screening, blood serum is the most preferred specimen because of its richness in patho-physiological information and due to ease of collection. To overcome deleterious freeze/thaw cycles and to reduce high costs for shipping and storage, we sought to develop a procedure which enables MALDI-MS protein profiling of blood serum proteins without the need for serum freezing.

Methods: Blood sera from patients/donors were divided into portions which after pre-incubation were fast frozen. Thawed aliquots were deposited on filter paper discs and air-dried at room temperature. Intact serum proteins were eluted with acid-labile detergent-containing solutions and were desalted by employing a reversed-phase bead system. Purified protein solutions were screened by MALDI-MS using standardized instrument settings.

Results: MALDI mass spectra from protein solutions which were eluted from filter paper discs and desalted showed on average 25 strong ion signals (mass range m/z 6000 to 10,000) from intact serum proteins (apolipoproteins, complement proteins, transthyretin and hemoglobin) and from proteolytic processing products. Semi-quantitative analysis of three ion pairs: m/z 6433 and 6631, m/z 8205 and 8916, as well as m/z 9275 and 9422, indicated that the mass spectra from either pre-incubated fast-frozen serum or pre-incubated dried serum spot eluted serum contained the same information on protein composition.

Conclusions: A workflow that avoids the conventional cold-chain and yet enables the investigation of intact serum proteins and/or serum proteolysis products by MALDI-MS profiling was developed. The presented protocol tremendously broadens the clinical application of MALDI-MS and simultaneously allows a reduction in the costs for storage and shipping of serum samples. This will pave the way for clinical screening of patients also in areas with limited access to health care systems, and/or specialized laboratories.
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July 2021