Publications by authors named "Zahra Shiravani"

10 Publications

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Does Vitex Agnus-Castus L. Have Deleterious Effect on Fertility and Pregnancy Outcome? An Experimental Study on Rats for Prediction of Its Safety.

J Pharmacopuncture 2022 Jun;25(2):106-113

Endocrine and Metabolic Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Objectives: Herbal medicine is a worldwide health topic. Vitex agnus-castus L. (VAC) is a popular plant used for gynecologic problems due to its hormonal effects. The aim of this study is to reveal VAC extract effect on fetus when this herb is used started from antenatal period or during pregnancy.

Methods: Performed from starting day of January 2019 till February 2019, 48 rats were assigned in randomly divided eight-member six groups control (C1), treated group with 365 mg/kg VAC from initiation of insemination (T1) and 30 days prior to pregnancy (T2), control that underwent caesarean section on 15th day of gestational age (C2) and treated group with 365 mg/kg VAC from initiation of insemination (T3) and 30 days prior to pregnancy (T4) that underwent caesarean section. Weight, sex and number of fetuses, abortion and still birth rate and estradiol level were evaluated using t-test by SPSS software.

Results: We showed increased weight among T1 group considering totally and sex-dependent which is significant (all p-value < 0.05). We also detected significantly decreased weight in T2 in total (p-value < 0.0001) and when considering female fetuses (0.043) but not males (0.17). Although the results showed slightly non-significant increased weight among fetuses of T3 (totally or based on the fetus sex) compared to the control group (C2), T4 group had statistically decreased weight compared to control group. Pregnancy rate and pregnancy outcome were affected by VAC usage. The time of VAC initiation also affected live birth and abortion rates.

Conclusion: VAC extract may affect pregnancy rate, live birth rate, abortion and stillbirth rates. Its effect on the weight and the sex showed dual pattern depends on the time of initiation and pregnancy trimester of evaluation. Prescribing this medicinal plant for patients being prone to pregnancy should be with caution. Further study is recommended.
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June 2022

Effectiveness of pentoxifylline in severe early-onset fetal growth restriction: A randomized double-blinded clinical trial.

Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol 2022 Jul;61(4):612-619

Hafez Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Electronic address:

Objective: Management of pregnancy complicated by severe early-onset fetal growth restriction (FGR) is one of the most challenging obstetrical issues. So far, there has not been a proven option for the treatment or improvement of this condition. Improper immune response during placentation leads to inadequate trophoblast invasion and impaired utero-placental perfusion. Pentoxifylline improves the endothelial function and induces vasodilation by reducing the inflammatory-mediated cytokines. We have evaluated the effect of Pentoxifylline on fetal-placental perfusion, neonatal outcome, and the level of oxidative stress markers before and after the intervention in the setting of severe early-onset FGR.

Materials And Methods: This study is a pilot randomized clinical trial on 40 pregnant women who had developed early-onset growth restricted fetus. Pentoxifylline and placebo were given with a dose of 400 mg per os two times daily until delivery. Serial ultrasound examination regarding fetal weight, amniotic fluid and also utero-placenta-fetal Doppler's were done. For the assessment of serum Antioxidant level, blood sampling was done once at the beginning of the study and again, at least, three weeks after the investigation. After delivery, umbilical-cord blood gas analysis, APGAR score at 1 and 5 min, NICU admission, and neonatal death were recorded and compared between the two groups.

Results: Utero-placenta-fetal Doppler's in the Pentoxifylline group did not significantly change compared to the control group. Fetal weight gain was significantly higher in the Pentoxifylline group before (996.33 ± 317.41) and after (1616.89 ± 527.90) treatment (P = 0.002). Total serum antioxidant capacity significantly increased in the Pentoxifylline group (p < 0.036). Average 5 min Apgar score was significantly higher (P < 0.036) and the percentage of babies admitted to NICU was significantly lower (P < 0.030) in the treated group.

Conclusion: Using Pentoxifylline in pregnancy affected by FGR might show promising effects. In this study, Pentoxifylline improved the neonatal outcome, increased fetal weight gain, and reduced neonatal mortality by decreasing the level of oxidative stress markers and cutting down the inflammatory cascade.
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July 2022

Comparing four different methods for the management of ectopic pregnancy: A cross-sectional study.

Int J Reprod Biomed 2021 Mar 21;20(3):177-184. Epub 2022 Apr 21.

Infertility Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: Ectopic pregnancy (EP) is one of the major causes of maternal mortality during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Objective: Four treatment methods for EP including single-dose methotrexate (SD-MTX), double-dose methotrexate, expectant and surgical management were considered.

Materials And Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the clinical characteristics of 365 women aged 15-44 yr who had been diagnosed with EP were reviewed from March 2017 to March 2019 in hospitals affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Receiver operating characteristics curves were plotted to determine the cut-off points for size of ectopic mass and beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) that suitably discriminated between double-dose methotrexate and surgery management.

Results: The most common site of EP was adnexa. According to the receiver operating characteristics analysis, surgery was the best plan for the women with an ectopic mass 34.50 mm in diameter or with an initial β-hCG level 6419 mIU/ml. The β-hCG levels in the women successfully treated with SD-MTX were significantly lower than in those with failed treatment (p = 0.02). The SD-MTX group had a higher success rate and significantly shorter duration of hospitalization, and so this was a more effective medical treatment in comparison with the double-dose protocol.

Conclusion: Surgery is proposed as the best option for the cases with large ectopic mass or high β-hCG level. SD-MTX had a higher success rate and shorter hospital stay than the double-dose protocol, and so was found to be an efficient and safe alternative. Further randomized clinical trials with larger sample sizes are recommended to validate the current results.
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March 2021

Chamomile Extract versus Clotrimazole Vaginal Cream in Treatment of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis: A Randomized Double-Blind Control Trial.

J Pharmacopuncture 2021 Dec;24(4):191-195

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Health, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran.

Objectives: Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) treatment is advised for all women due to its symptoms and complications. In this study, the standard treatment, clotrimazole, was compared with chamomile extract cream in outpatient clinics.

Methods: We recruited 73 women with VVC, who were randomly allocated into two groups, clotrimazole chamomile extract cream. After two weeks of treatment with the same criteria, cheese-like vaginal discharge, itching and burning sensations, strawberry cervix, and recovery percentage was evaluated.

Results: Thirty patients in each group were analyzed. There was no significant difference in age and number of pregnancies between groups (p = 0.85 and 0.09, respectively). Comparing before and after treatment, cheese like discharge (p < 0.001), itching (p < 0.001), burning (p < 0.001) had significantly improved in both groups. Further, the recovery percentage was not significantly different between groups (88.9% 75% in the chamomile vs clotrimazole groups, respectively).

Conclusion: Chamomile is as effective as clotrimazole in VVC treatment; a higher percentage of women who used this medication recovered, although this did not reach significance. In addition, no complications were reported in either group.
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December 2021

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Different Methods of Treatment of Tubal Ectopic Pregnancy in the South of Iran.

Value Health Reg Issues 2022 Mar 26;28:90-97. Epub 2021 Nov 26.

Health Human Resources Research Center, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Electronic address:

Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of different methods of treating tubal ectopic pregnancy in the south of Iran.

Methods: This study was an economic evaluation that analyzed and compared the cost-effectiveness and cost utility of 3 treatment methods, including single-dose methotrexate, double-dose methotrexate, and surgery in patients with tubal ectopic pregnancy. In this study, a decision tree model was used. The outcomes included in the model were the percentage of successful treatment and the average utility score of each treatment method. The study was conducted from the social perspective, and a one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analysis was performed to measure the effects of uncertainty.

Results: The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of surgery compared with single-dose methotrexate was positive and equal to $5812 purchasing power parity; moreover, the results of one-way analysis showed the highest sensitivity toward the effectiveness of single-dose methotrexate. Scatter plots also revealed that surgery in 82% and 96% of simulations was at the acceptable region compared with a single-dose and double-dose methotrexate, respectively and was below the threshold. It was identified as a more cost-effective strategy. Furthermore, the acceptability curves showed that in 81.4% of simulations, surgery was the most cost-effective treatment for thresholds less than $20 950 purchasing power parity.

Conclusions: On the basis of the results of this study, surgery can be used as the first line of treatment for ectopic pregnancy. In addition, the best drug strategy was single-dose methotrexate because this strategy reduced costs and increased treatment success and quality-adjusted life-years compared with double-dose methotrexate.
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March 2022

A 5-year experience on perinatal outcome of placenta accreta spectrum disorder managed by cesarean hysterectomy in southern Iranian women.

BMC Womens Health 2021 06 15;21(1):243. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Maternal-Fetal Medicine Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: We aimed to investigate the risk factors of placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) disorder, management options and maternal and neonatal outcomes of these pregnancies in a resource-limited clinical setting.

Methods: All women diagnosed with placenta accreta, increta, and percreta who underwent peripartum hysterectomy using a multidisciplinary approach in a tertiary center in Shiraz, southern Iran between January 2015 until October 2019 were included in this retrospective cohort study. Maternal variables, such as estimated blood loss, transfusion requirements and ICU admission, as well as neonatal variables such as, Apgar score, NICU admission and birthweight, were among the primary outcomes of this study.

Results: A total number of 198 pregnancies underwent peripartum hysterectomy due to PAS during the study period, of whom163 pregnancies had antenatal diagnosis of PAS. The mean gestational age at the time of diagnosis was 26 weeks, the mean intra-operative blood loss was 2446 ml, and an average of 2 packs of red blood cells were transfused intra-operatively. Fifteen percent of women had surgical complications with bladder injuries being the most common complication. Furthermore, 113 neonates of PAS group were admitted to NICU due to prematurity of which 15 (7.6%) died in neonatal period.

Conclusion: Our findings showed that PAS pregnancies managed in a resource-limited setting in Southern Iran have both maternal and neonatal outcomes comparable to those in developed countries, which is hypothesized to be due to high rate of antenatal diagnosis (86.3%) and multidisciplinary approach used for the management of pregnancies with PAS.
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June 2021

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) manifestations during pregnancy in all three trimesters: A case series.

Int J Reprod Biomed 2021 Feb 21;19(2):191-204. Epub 2021 Feb 21.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Infertility Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has raised concerns about the susceptibility amongst different groups of the population. Pregnant women are one such group. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of COVID-19 on pregnancy and maternal/neonatal outcomes.

Case Presentation: This case series was conducted on 16 pregnant women with COVID-19 from March 21 to May 11, 2020. Clinical characteristics, pregnancy complications, medication used, maternal/neonatal outcomes, and fatality rate were investigated through this study. The mean age of the patients was 30.06 yrs. Patients from all three trimesters were included (1 in first, 5 in second, and 10 in the third trimesters). The most common clinical symptoms were shortness of breath (n = 10), dry cough (n = 10), myalgia (n = 8), and chills (n = 7). Also, three cases had papulosquamous skin lesions with fissuring. The most common laboratory results were leukocytosis (n = 8), increased liver enzymes (n = 6), elevated CRP (n = 5), and thrombocytopenia (n = 4). There was one case of maternal mortality, five of premature labor pain (PLP), two of preeclampsia, and two of placenta accreta. Twelve pregnancies were terminated (nine cesarean sections, three vaginal deliveries). Among neonates, we had 6 cases of preterm labor. All neonates had negative PCR results.

Conclusion: Clinical manifestations and paraclinical results were similar to non-pregnant patients. There was no evidence of vertical transmission. PLP and premature rupture of membranes (PROM) were the most common complications in the second and third trimesters of pregnant COVID-19 women, which can lead to rupture of the uterus. Termination and delivery should be planned individually.
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February 2021

Are Ovarian Dermoid Cysts Should Be Always Considered Benign? A Case Series Study of Different Malignant Transformation.

Indian J Surg Oncol 2020 Sep 4;11(Suppl 2):156-158. Epub 2020 Jul 4.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

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September 2020

Diagnostic Accuracy of Cervical Pap Smear and Colposcopy in Detecting Premalignant and Malignant Lesions of Cervix.

Indian J Surg Oncol 2020 Sep 23;11(3):453-458. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Infertility Research Center, Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Division of Oncology Gynecology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, OB & GYN ward, Faghihi Hospital, Zand Blvd, Shiraz, Iran.

The objective of this study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of pap smear and colposcopy in detecting the premalignant and malignant lesion of the cervix. In this cross-sectional study, a total number of 160 women who presented with abnormal clinical problem or routine checkup during a 6-month period were included. All the patients underwent pap smear and colposcopy by the same gynecologists team, and finally, cervical biopsy was performed in all the individuals. The demographic and clinical characteristics as well as the obstetrics history were recorded. The diagnostic accuracy of each test was calculated according to the biopsy as gold standard. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive values (NPV) were recorded and compared between two modalities. Overall, we included a total number of 160 patients with mean age of 37.6 ± 7.32 (ranging from 24 to 63) years. The sensitivity and specificity of pap smear were found to be 47.19% and 64.79%, respectively. The PPV and NPV of the pap smear were calculated to be 88.69% and 38.46%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity, PPV, and NPV of the colposcopy were calculated as 64.72%, 52.74%, 76.32%, and 95.41%, respectively. The overall diagnostic accuracy of the pap smear and colposcopy was reported to be 82.2% and 96.3%, respectively. The results of this study demonstrate that colposcopy has a higher diagnostic accuracy in detecting cervical premalignant and malignant lesions compared to the pap smear.
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September 2020

Lymphatic mapping and sentinel node biopsy in endometrial cancer--a feasibility study using cervical injection of radiotracer and blue dye.

Nucl Med Rev Cent East Eur 2014 ;17(2):55-8

Nuclear Medicine Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of sentinel lymph node (SLN) detection using preoperative lymphoscintigraphy and intra-operative gamma probe/blue dye for endometrial cancer patients.

Material And Methods: Twenty four consecutive patients with endometrial cancer were recruited. All patients underwent lymphatic mapping and sentinel node biopsy using combined intracervical radiotracer and blue dye injections. Pelvic lymph node dissection was performed for all patients. Para-aortic lymphadenectomy was done in high risk patients. All SLNs were examined by frozen section and Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) permanent sections.

Results: Pre-operative lymphoscintigraphy showed at least one SLN in 21/24 patients. Intra-operatively, at least one SLN could be harvested by gamma probe and/or blue dye methods. A total of 95 SLNs were detected. Four SLNs were detected only by blue dye, 42 only by radiotracer, and 49 were hot/blue. Median number of SLN per patient was 3. Three patients had positive pelvic lymph nodes. All of them had positive SLN (no false negative case). Frozen section could identify SLN involvement in two of three patients with positive pathology.

Conclusion: Lymphatic mapping and sentinel node biopsy is feasible and accurate in endometrial cancer patients using combined radiotracer and blue dye methods. Frozen section accuracy was lower and underscores the importance of expert pathologists for SLN mapping technique.
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March 2015