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J. Clin. Med., Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2014), Pages 679-1063

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessCommunication Pregnancy Loss Following Amniocentesis or CVS Sampling—Time for a Reassessment of Risk
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 741-746; doi:10.3390/jcm3030741
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 24 May 2014 / Accepted: 29 May 2014 / Published: 8 July 2014
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Abstract
Risk of procedure-related pregnancy loss is currently widely quoted in the UK as 1% for amniocentesis and 1.5% for chorionic villus sampling. Published data suggest that these risk figures are out of date and inaccurate, and that new guidelines are required for pre-test
[...] Read more.
Risk of procedure-related pregnancy loss is currently widely quoted in the UK as 1% for amniocentesis and 1.5% for chorionic villus sampling. Published data suggest that these risk figures are out of date and inaccurate, and that new guidelines are required for pre-test counseling. It is our opinion that accurate and evidence-based information concerning miscarriage risk is vital when counseling women, as exaggeration of this risk may deter women from testing, or cause unjustified remorse if a miscarriage ensues. It is also essential that health-care economists are aware of the up-to-date evidence on “procedure-related risk” when applying risk-benefit analysis to assess new technology for non-invasive screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessArticle A 26-Year Experience in Chorionic Villus Sampling Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 838-848; doi:10.3390/jcm3030838
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 20 June 2014 / Accepted: 23 June 2014 / Published: 24 July 2014
PDF Full-text (784 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This report describes the trends of chorionic villus sampling (CVS) referred for prenatal genetic diagnosis in the past two and a half decades in a Portuguese Center. Our cohort of 491 CVS was mostly performed by the transcervical method at the 12th gestational
[...] Read more.
This report describes the trends of chorionic villus sampling (CVS) referred for prenatal genetic diagnosis in the past two and a half decades in a Portuguese Center. Our cohort of 491 CVS was mostly performed by the transcervical method at the 12th gestational week. Data collected within the framework of this study relate to the following: sampling method, referral reason versus abnormality and incidence of procedure-related pregnancy loss, that declined to about 0.5% over the last 15 years. The year 2000 represented a change in referral reasons for chorionic tissue collection, shifting from almost exclusively for cytogenetic testing to an increasing number of molecular tests for monogenic disorders. Herein, success rates as well as cytogenetic and/or molecular DNA results are presented. These latter include not only tests for several monogenic disorders, but also aneuploidy and maternal cell contamination screening. This retrospective analysis reiterates that CVS is a safe and reliable first trimester technique for prenatal diagnosis in high genetic risk pregnancies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Cell-Free Fetal DNA Screening on Patients’ Choice of Invasive Procedures after a Positive California Prenatal Screen Result
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 849-864; doi:10.3390/jcm3030849
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 10 June 2014 / Accepted: 18 June 2014 / Published: 24 July 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (825 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Until recently, maternal serum analyte levels paired with sonographic fetal nuchal translucency measurement was the most accurate prenatal screen available for Trisomies 18 and 21, (91% and 94% detection and false positive rates of 0.31% and 4.5% respectively). Women with positive California Prenatal
[...] Read more.
Until recently, maternal serum analyte levels paired with sonographic fetal nuchal translucency measurement was the most accurate prenatal screen available for Trisomies 18 and 21, (91% and 94% detection and false positive rates of 0.31% and 4.5% respectively). Women with positive California Prenatal Screening Program (CPSP) results have the option of diagnostic testing to determine definitively if the fetus has a chromosomal abnormality. Cell-free fetal (cff-) DNA screening for Trisomies 13, 18, and 21 was first offered in 2012, allowing women with positive screens to choose additional screening before diagnostic testing. Cff-DNA sensitivity rates are as high as 99.9% and 99.1%, with false positive rates of 0.4% and 0.1%, for Trisomies 18 and 21, respectively. A retrospective chart review was performed in 2012 on 500 CPSP referrals at the University of California, San Diego Thornton Hospital. Data were collected prior to and after the introduction of cff-DNA. There was a significant increase in the number of participants who chose to pursue additional testing and a decrease in the number of invasive procedures performed after cff-DNA screening was available. We conclude that as fetal aneuploidy screening improves, the number of invasive procedures will continue to decrease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessArticle Health Resource Utilization Associated with Skeletal-Related Events in Patients with Advanced Prostate Cancer: A European Subgroup Analysis from an Observational, Multinational Study
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 883-896; doi:10.3390/jcm3030883
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (694 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study aimed to increase the understanding of health resource utilization (HRU) associated with skeletal-related events (SREs) occurring in patients with bone metastases secondary to advanced prostate cancer. A total of 120 patients from Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom were enrolled
[...] Read more.
This study aimed to increase the understanding of health resource utilization (HRU) associated with skeletal-related events (SREs) occurring in patients with bone metastases secondary to advanced prostate cancer. A total of 120 patients from Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom were enrolled in this observational study. They had bone metastases secondary to prostate cancer and had experienced at least one SRE in the 97 days before giving informed consent. HRU data were collected retrospectively for 97 days before enrolment and prospectively for up to 18–21 months. HRU, including the number and duration of inpatient hospitalizations, number of outpatient and emergency department visits and procedures, was independently attributed by investigators to an SRE. Of the 222 SREs included in this analysis, 26% were associated with inpatient stays and the mean duration per SRE was 21.4 days (standard deviation (SD) 17.8 days). Overall, 174 SREs (78%) required an outpatient visit and the mean number of visits per SRE was 4.6 (SD 4.6). All SREs are associated with substantial HRU. Preventing SREs in patients with advanced prostate cancer and bone metastases may help to reduce the burden to both patients and European healthcare systems. Full article
Open AccessArticle Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis in the Management of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Pregnancies
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 913-922; doi:10.3390/jcm3030913
Received: 2 April 2014 / Revised: 27 May 2014 / Accepted: 25 June 2014 / Published: 14 August 2014
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Abstract
Prenatal diagnosis (PD) is recommended in pregnancies after a Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). However, conventional PD entails a risk of fetal loss which makes PGD patients reluctant to undergo obstetric invasive procedures. The presence of circulating fetal DNA in maternal blood allows performing
[...] Read more.
Prenatal diagnosis (PD) is recommended in pregnancies after a Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). However, conventional PD entails a risk of fetal loss which makes PGD patients reluctant to undergo obstetric invasive procedures. The presence of circulating fetal DNA in maternal blood allows performing a non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) without risk for the pregnancy outcome. This work shows the introduction of NIPD for confirmation of PGD results in eight pregnancies. In those pregnancies referred to PGD for an X-linked disorder (six out of eight), fetal sex determination in maternal blood was performed to confirm fetal sex. One pregnancy referred to PGD for Marfan syndrome and one referred for Huntington disease (HD) were also analyzed. In seven out of eight cases, PGD results were confirmed by NIPD in maternal blood. No results were obtained in the HD pregnancy. NIPD in PGD pregnancies can be a reliable alternative for couples that after a long process feel reluctant to undergo PD due to the risk of pregnancy loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessArticle Alterations in Skin Temperature and Sleep in the Fear of Harm Phenotype of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 959-971; doi:10.3390/jcm3030959
Received: 9 April 2014 / Revised: 30 May 2014 / Accepted: 19 June 2014 / Published: 22 August 2014
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Abstract
In children diagnosed with pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD), disturbances in the quality of sleep and wakefulness are prominent. A novel phenotype of PBD called Fear of Harm (FOH) associated with separation anxiety and aggressive obsessions is associated with sleep onset insomnia, parasomnias (nightmares,
[...] Read more.
In children diagnosed with pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD), disturbances in the quality of sleep and wakefulness are prominent. A novel phenotype of PBD called Fear of Harm (FOH) associated with separation anxiety and aggressive obsessions is associated with sleep onset insomnia, parasomnias (nightmares, night-terrors, enuresis), REM sleep-related problems, and morning sleep inertia. Children with FOH often experience thermal discomfort (e.g., feeling hot, excessive sweating) in neutral ambient temperature conditions, as well as no discomfort during exposure to the extreme cold, and alternate noticeably between being excessively hot in the evening and cold in the morning. We hypothesized that these sleep- and temperature-related symptoms were overt symptoms of an impaired ability to dissipate heat, particularly in the evening hours near the time of sleep onset. We measured sleep/wake variables using actigraphy, and nocturnal skin temperature variables using thermal patches and a wireless device, and compared these data between children with PBD/FOH and a control sample of healthy children. The results are suggestive of a thermoregulatory dysfunction that is associated with sleep onset difficulties. Further, they are consistent with our hypothesis that alterations in neural circuitry common to thermoregulation and emotion regulation underlie affective and behavioral symptoms of the FOH phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
Open AccessArticle Actual Therapeutic Indication of an Old Drug: Urea for Treatment of Severely Symptomatic and Mild Chronic Hyponatremia Related to SIADH
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 1043-1049; doi:10.3390/jcm3031043
Received: 25 July 2014 / Revised: 26 August 2014 / Accepted: 9 September 2014 / Published: 18 September 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (707 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Oral urea has been used in the past to treat various diseases like gastric ulcers, liver metastases, sickle cell disease, heart failure, brain oedema, glaucoma, Meniere disease, etc. We have demonstrated for years, the efficacy of urea to treat euvolemic (SIADH) or
[...] Read more.
Oral urea has been used in the past to treat various diseases like gastric ulcers, liver metastases, sickle cell disease, heart failure, brain oedema, glaucoma, Meniere disease, etc. We have demonstrated for years, the efficacy of urea to treat euvolemic (SIADH) or hypervolemic hyponatremia. We briefly describe the indications of urea use in symptomatic and paucisymptomatic hyponatremic patients. Urea is a non-toxic, cheap product, and protects against osmotic demyelinating syndrome (ODS) in experimental studies. Prospective studies showing the benefit to treat mild chronic hyponatremia due to SIADH and comparing water restriction, urea, high ceiling diuretics, and antivasopressin antagonist antagonist should be done. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hyponatremia: Advances in Diagnosis and Management)
Open AccessArticle Reducing Liver Fat by Low Carbohydrate Caloric Restriction Targets Hepatic Glucose Production in Non-Diabetic Obese Adults with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 1050-1063; doi:10.3390/jcm3031050
Received: 2 July 2014 / Revised: 4 September 2014 / Accepted: 12 September 2014 / Published: 22 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (706 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) impairs liver functions, the organ responsible for the regulation of endogenous glucose production and thus plays a key role in glycemic homeostasis. Therefore, interventions designed to normalize liver fat content are needed to improve glucose metabolism in patients
[...] Read more.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) impairs liver functions, the organ responsible for the regulation of endogenous glucose production and thus plays a key role in glycemic homeostasis. Therefore, interventions designed to normalize liver fat content are needed to improve glucose metabolism in patients affected by NAFLD such as obesity. Objective: this investigation is designed to determine the effects of caloric restriction on hepatic and peripheral glucose metabolism in obese humans with NAFLD. Methods: eight non-diabetic obese adults were restricted for daily energy intake (800 kcal) and low carbohydrate (<10%) for 8 weeks. Body compositions, liver fat and hepatic glucose production (HGP) and peripheral glucose disposal before and after the intervention were determined. Results: the caloric restriction reduced liver fat content by 2/3 (p = 0.004). Abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat, body weight, BMI, waist circumference and fasting plasma triglyceride and free fatty acid concentrations all significantly decreased (p < 0.05). The suppression of post-load HGP was improved by 22% (p = 0.002) whereas glucose disposal was not affected (p = 0.3). Fasting glucose remained unchanged and the changes in the 2-hour plasma glucose and insulin concentration were modest and statistically insignificant (p > 0.05). Liver fat is the only independent variable highly correlated to HGP after the removal of confounders. Conclusion: NAFLD impairs HGP but not peripheral glucose disposal; low carbohydrate caloric restriction effectively lowers liver fat which appears to directly correct the HGP impairment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview Maternal Serum Screening Markers and Adverse Outcome: A New Perspective
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 693-712; doi:10.3390/jcm3030693
Received: 9 April 2014 / Revised: 10 May 2014 / Accepted: 16 May 2014 / Published: 3 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There have been a number of studies evaluating the association of aneuploidy serum markers with adverse pregnancy outcome. More recently, the development of potential treatments for these adverse outcomes as well as the introduction of cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) screening for aneuploidy necessitates
[...] Read more.
There have been a number of studies evaluating the association of aneuploidy serum markers with adverse pregnancy outcome. More recently, the development of potential treatments for these adverse outcomes as well as the introduction of cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) screening for aneuploidy necessitates a re-evaluation of the benefit of serum markers in the identification of adverse outcomes. Analysis of the literature indicates that the serum markers tend to perform better in identifying pregnancies at risk for the more severe but less frequent form of individual pregnancy complications rather than the more frequent but milder forms of the condition. As a result, studies which evaluate the association of biomarkers with a broad definition of a given condition may underestimate the ability of such markers to identify pregnancies that are destined to develop the more severe form of the condition. Consideration of general population screening using cffDNA solely must be weighed against the fact that traditional screening using serum markers enables detection of severe pregnancy complications, not detectable with cffDNA, of which many may be amenable to treatment options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessReview The Psychological Challenges of Replacing Conventional Karyotyping with Genomic SNP Array Analysis in Prenatal Testing
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 713-723; doi:10.3390/jcm3030713
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 21 May 2014 / Accepted: 16 June 2014 / Published: 3 July 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pregnant couples tend to prefer a maximum of information about the health of their fetus. Therefore, we implemented whole genome microarray instead of conventional karyotyping (CK) for all indications for prenatal diagnosis (PND). The array detects more clinically relevant anomalies, including early onset
[...] Read more.
Pregnant couples tend to prefer a maximum of information about the health of their fetus. Therefore, we implemented whole genome microarray instead of conventional karyotyping (CK) for all indications for prenatal diagnosis (PND). The array detects more clinically relevant anomalies, including early onset disorders, not related to the indication and more genetic anomalies of yet unquantifiable risk, so-called susceptibility loci (SL) for mainly neurodevelopmental disorders. This manuscript highlights the psychological challenges in prenatal genetic counselling when using the array and provides counselling suggestions. First, we suggest that pre-test decision counselling should emphasize deliberation about what pregnant couples wish to learn about the future health of their fetus more than information about possible outcomes. Second, pregnant couples need support in dealing with SL. Therefore, in order to consider the SL in a proportionate perspective, the presence of phenotypes associated with SL in the family, the incidence of a particular SL in control populations and in postnatally ascertained patients needs highlighting during post-test genetic counselling. Finally, the decision that couples need to make about the course of their pregnancy is more complicated when the expected phenotype is variable and not quantifiable. Therefore, during post-test psychological counseling, couples should concretize the options of continuing and ending their pregnancy; all underlying feelings and thoughts should be made explicit, as well as the couple’s resources, in order to attain adequate decision-making. As such, pre- and post-test counselling aids pregnant couples in handling the uncertainties that may accompany offering a broader scope of genetic PND using the array. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessReview Hepatic Atypical Protein Kinase C: An Inherited Survival-Longevity Gene that Now Fuels Insulin-Resistant Syndromes of Obesity, the Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 724-740; doi:10.3390/jcm3030724
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 19 June 2014 / Accepted: 24 June 2014 / Published: 7 July 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (658 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review focuses on how insulin signals to metabolic processes in health, why this signaling is frequently deranged in Western/Westernized societies, how these derangements lead to, or abet development of, insulin-resistant states of obesity, the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus, and
[...] Read more.
This review focuses on how insulin signals to metabolic processes in health, why this signaling is frequently deranged in Western/Westernized societies, how these derangements lead to, or abet development of, insulin-resistant states of obesity, the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus, and what our options are for restoring insulin signaling, and glucose/lipid homeostasis. A central theme in this review is that excessive hepatic activity of an archetypal protein kinase enzyme, “atypical” protein kinase C (aPKC), plays a critically important role in the development of impaired glucose metabolism, systemic insulin resistance, and excessive hepatic production of glucose, lipids and proinflammatory factors that underlie clinical problems of glucose intolerance, obesity, hepatosteatosis, hyperlipidemia, and, ultimately, type 2 diabetes. The review suggests that normally inherited genes, in particular, the aPKC isoforms, that were important for survival and longevity in times of food scarcity are now liabilities in times of over-nutrition. Fortunately, new knowledge of insulin signaling mechanisms and how an aberration of excessive hepatic aPKC activation is induced by over-nutrition puts us in a position to target this aberration by diet and/or by specific inhibitors of hepatic aPKC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)
Figures

Open AccessReview Exome Sequencing in Fetuses with Structural Malformations
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 747-762; doi:10.3390/jcm3030747
Received: 10 April 2014 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 19 May 2014 / Published: 8 July 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prenatal diagnostic testing is a rapidly advancing field. An accurate diagnosis of structural anomalies and additional abnormalities in fetuses with structural anomalies is important to allow “triage” and designation of prognosis. This will allow parents to make an informed decision relating to the
[...] Read more.
Prenatal diagnostic testing is a rapidly advancing field. An accurate diagnosis of structural anomalies and additional abnormalities in fetuses with structural anomalies is important to allow “triage” and designation of prognosis. This will allow parents to make an informed decision relating to the pregnancy. This review outlines the current tests used in prenatal diagnosis, focusing particularly on “new technologies” such as exome sequencing. We demonstrate the utility of exome sequencing above that of conventional karyotyping and Chromosomal Microarray (CMA) alone by outlining a recent proof of concept study investigating 30 parent-fetus trios where the fetus is known to have a structural anomaly. This may allow the identification of pathological gene anomalies and consequently improved prognostic profiling, as well as excluding anomalies and distinguishing between de novo and inherited mutations, in order to estimate the recurrence risk in future pregnancies. The potential ethical dilemmas surrounding exome sequencing are also considered, and the future of prenatal genetic diagnosis is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessReview Gut-Brain Endocrine Axes in Weight Regulation and Obesity Pharmacotherapy
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 763-794; doi:10.3390/jcm3030763
Received: 17 April 2014 / Revised: 29 May 2014 / Accepted: 16 June 2014 / Published: 15 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (298 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, the obesity epidemic has developed into a major health crisis both in the United States as well as throughout the developed world. With current treatments limited to expensive, high-risk surgery and minimally efficacious pharmacotherapy, new therapeutic options are urgently needed
[...] Read more.
In recent years, the obesity epidemic has developed into a major health crisis both in the United States as well as throughout the developed world. With current treatments limited to expensive, high-risk surgery and minimally efficacious pharmacotherapy, new therapeutic options are urgently needed to combat this alarming trend. This review focuses on the endogenous gut-brain signaling axes that regulate appetite under physiological conditions, and discusses their clinical relevance by summarizing the clinical and preclinical studies that have investigated manipulation of these pathways to treat obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)
Open AccessReview Limitations of Aneuploidy and Anomaly Detection in the Obese Patient
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 795-808; doi:10.3390/jcm3030795
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 17 June 2014 / Accepted: 24 June 2014 / Published: 17 July 2014
PDF Full-text (202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity is a worldwide epidemic and can have a profound effect on pregnancy risks. Obese patients tend to be older and are at increased risk for structural fetal anomalies and aneuploidy, making screening options critically important for these women. Failure rates for first-trimester
[...] Read more.
Obesity is a worldwide epidemic and can have a profound effect on pregnancy risks. Obese patients tend to be older and are at increased risk for structural fetal anomalies and aneuploidy, making screening options critically important for these women. Failure rates for first-trimester nuchal translucency (NT) screening increase with obesity, while the ability to detect soft-markers declines, limiting ultrasound-based screening options. Obesity also decreases the chances of completing the anatomy survey and increases the residual risk of undetected anomalies. Additionally, non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is less likely to provide an informative result in obese patients. Understanding the limitations and diagnostic accuracy of aneuploidy and anomaly screening in obese patients can help guide clinicians in counseling patients on the screening options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessReview Chromosomal Mosaicism in Human Feto-Placental Development: Implications for Prenatal Diagnosis
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 809-837; doi:10.3390/jcm3030809
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 19 June 2014 / Accepted: 27 June 2014 / Published: 24 July 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1853 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Chromosomal mosaicism is one of the primary interpretative issues in prenatal diagnosis. In this review, the mechanisms underlying feto-placental chromosomal mosaicism are presented. Based on the substantial retrospective diagnostic experience with chorionic villi samples (CVS) of a prenatal diagnosis laboratory the following items
[...] Read more.
Chromosomal mosaicism is one of the primary interpretative issues in prenatal diagnosis. In this review, the mechanisms underlying feto-placental chromosomal mosaicism are presented. Based on the substantial retrospective diagnostic experience with chorionic villi samples (CVS) of a prenatal diagnosis laboratory the following items are discussed: (i) The frequency of the different types of mosaicism (confined placental, CPM, and true fetal mosaicisms, TFM); (ii) The risk of fetal confirmation after the detection of a mosaic in CVS stratified by chromosome abnormality and placental tissue involvement; (iii) The frequency of uniparental disomy for imprinted chromosomes associated with CPM; (iv) The incidence of false-positive and false-negative results in CVS samples analyzed by only (semi-)direct preparation or long term culture; and (v) The implications of the presence of a feto-placental mosaicism for microarray analysis of CVS and non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Figures

Open AccessReview Screening and Invasive Testing in Twins
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 865-882; doi:10.3390/jcm3030865
Received: 8 April 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 27 June 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014
PDF Full-text (244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prenatal screening and testing for trisomy 21 in twin pregnancies poses a number of challenges: the exact estimate of the a priori risk of trisomy 21, the choice of prenatal screening test and/or invasive techniques to employ for the diagnosis and the impact
[...] Read more.
Prenatal screening and testing for trisomy 21 in twin pregnancies poses a number of challenges: the exact estimate of the a priori risk of trisomy 21, the choice of prenatal screening test and/or invasive techniques to employ for the diagnosis and the impact of the result on the options of treatment in case of discordant results within a twin pair or among multiples. These different aspects are discussed below while recognizing that many issues remain unresolved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessReview Consequences of Abdominal Adiposity within the Metabolic Syndrome Paradigm in Black People of African Ancestry
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 897-912; doi:10.3390/jcm3030897
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 28 May 2014 / Accepted: 29 May 2014 / Published: 13 August 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a constellation of risk factors that are associated with increased risks for coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Although the cause is unknown, abdominal adiposity is considered the underpinning of these metabolic alterations. Hence, increased abdominal adiposity
[...] Read more.
The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a constellation of risk factors that are associated with increased risks for coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Although the cause is unknown, abdominal adiposity is considered the underpinning of these metabolic alterations. Hence, increased abdominal adiposity contributes to dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, beta cell dysfunction, insulin resistance, hypertension and inflammation. The role of abdominal adiposity in the causation of metabolic alterations that lead to the clinical expression of the MetS has become a focus of active research. In addition, there are ethnic/racial differences in the manifestation of the MetS. Therefore, the focus of this current review is to: (1) explore the consequences of abdominal obesity within the MetS paradigm; and (2) discuss the impact of ethnicity/race on MetS in Black People of African Ancestry (PAA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)
Open AccessReview Importance of Beta Cell Function for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 923-943; doi:10.3390/jcm3030923
Received: 30 April 2014 / Revised: 2 June 2014 / Accepted: 24 June 2014 / Published: 14 August 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1013 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is characterized by insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction. Recent evidence has emerged that beta cell dysfunction is a common pathogenetic feature of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and T2DM never develops without beta cell dysfunction. Therefore,
[...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is characterized by insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction. Recent evidence has emerged that beta cell dysfunction is a common pathogenetic feature of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and T2DM never develops without beta cell dysfunction. Therefore, treatment of T2DM should aim to restore beta cell function. Although the treatment of T2DM has greatly improved over the past few decades, remaining issues in the current treatment of T2DM include (1) hypoglycemia; (2) body weight gain; (3) peripheral hyperinsulinemia and (4) postprandial hyperglycemia, which are all associated with inappropriate insulin supplementation, again underpinning the important role of endogenous and physiological insulin secretion in the management of T2DM. This review summarizes the current knowledge on beta cell function in T2DM and discusses the treatment strategy for T2DM in relation to beta cell dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)
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Open AccessReview Hyponatremia: Special Considerations in Older Patients
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 944-958; doi:10.3390/jcm3030944
Received: 17 June 2014 / Revised: 7 July 2014 / Accepted: 18 July 2014 / Published: 18 August 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (752 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hyponatremia is especially common in older people. Recent evidence highlights that even mild, chronic hyponatremia can lead to cognitive impairment, falls and fractures, the latter being in part due to bone demineralization and reduced bone quality. Hyponatremia is therefore of special significance in
[...] Read more.
Hyponatremia is especially common in older people. Recent evidence highlights that even mild, chronic hyponatremia can lead to cognitive impairment, falls and fractures, the latter being in part due to bone demineralization and reduced bone quality. Hyponatremia is therefore of special significance in frail older people. Management of hyponatremia in elderly individuals is particularly challenging. The underlying cause is often multi-factorial, a clear history may be difficult to obtain and clinical examination is unreliable. Established treatment modalities are often ineffective and carry considerable risks, especially if the diagnosis of underlying causes is incorrect. Nevertheless, there is some evidence that correction of hyponatremia can improve cognitive performance and postural balance, potentially minimizing the risk of falls and fractures. Oral vasopressin receptor antagonists (vaptans) are a promising innovation, but evidence of their safety and effect on important clinical outcomes in frail elderly individuals is limited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hyponatremia: Advances in Diagnosis and Management)
Open AccessReview Fetal Cell Based Prenatal Diagnosis: Perspectives on the Present and Future
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 972-985; doi:10.3390/jcm3030972
Received: 24 April 2014 / Revised: 19 August 2014 / Accepted: 28 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (836 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ability to capture and analyze fetal cells from maternal circulation or other sources during pregnancy has been a goal of prenatal diagnostics for over thirty years. The vision of replacing invasive prenatal diagnostic procedures with the prospect of having the entire fetal
[...] Read more.
The ability to capture and analyze fetal cells from maternal circulation or other sources during pregnancy has been a goal of prenatal diagnostics for over thirty years. The vision of replacing invasive prenatal diagnostic procedures with the prospect of having the entire fetal genome in hand non-invasively for chromosomal and molecular studies for both clinical and research use has brought many investigators and innovations into the effort. While the object of this desire, however, has remained elusive, the aspiration for this approach to non-invasive prenatal diagnosis remains and the inquiry has continued. With the advent of screening by cell-free DNA analysis, the standards for fetal cell based prenatal diagnostics have been sharpened. Relevant aspects of the history and the current status of investigations to meet the goal of having an accessible and reliable strategy for capturing and analyzing fetal cells during pregnancy are reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 1)
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Open AccessReview First Trimester Ultrasound in Prenatal Diagnosis—Part of the Turning Pyramid of Prenatal Care
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 986-996; doi:10.3390/jcm3030986
Received: 26 August 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 2 September 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
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Abstract
First-trimester sonographic assessment of the risk of chromosomal abnormalities is routinely performed throughout the world, primarily by measuring fetal nuchal translucency thickness between 11–13 weeks’ gestation, combined with assessment of serum markers. The development of high-frequency transvaginal transducers has led to improved ultrasound
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First-trimester sonographic assessment of the risk of chromosomal abnormalities is routinely performed throughout the world, primarily by measuring fetal nuchal translucency thickness between 11–13 weeks’ gestation, combined with assessment of serum markers. The development of high-frequency transvaginal transducers has led to improved ultrasound resolution and better visualization of fetal anatomy during the first-trimester. Continuous improvement in ultrasound technology allows a thorough detailed assessment of fetal anatomy at the time of the nuchal translucency study. Using transabdominal or transvaginal sonography, or a combination of both approaches, it is now possible to diagnose a wide range of fetal anomalies during the first trimester. Multiple studies reported early diagnosis of major fetal anomalies after demonstrating the association of increased nuchal translucency thickness with structural defect in chromosomally normal and abnormal fetuses. Normal sonographic findings provide reassurance for women at high risk while detection of fetal malformation during the first trimester enables discussion and decisions about possible treatments and interventions, including termination of pregnancy, during an early stage of pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 1)
Open AccessReview Potential and Challenges of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Liver Diseases Treatment
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 997-1017; doi:10.3390/jcm3030997
Received: 17 July 2014 / Revised: 22 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (752 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tens of millions of patients are affected by liver disease worldwide. Many of these patients can benefit from cell therapy involving living metabolically active cells, either by treatment of their liver disease, or by prevention of their disease phenotype. Cell therapies, including hepatocyte
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Tens of millions of patients are affected by liver disease worldwide. Many of these patients can benefit from cell therapy involving living metabolically active cells, either by treatment of their liver disease, or by prevention of their disease phenotype. Cell therapies, including hepatocyte transplantation and bioartificial liver (BAL) devices, have been proposed as therapeutic alternatives to the shortage of transplantable livers. Both BAL and hepatocyte transplantation are cellular therapies that avoid use of a whole liver. Hepatocytes are also widely used in drug screening and liver disease modelling. However, the demand for human hepatocytes, heavily outweighs their availability by conventional means. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) technology brings together the potential benefits of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) (i.e., self-renewal, pluripotency) and addresses the major ethical and scientific concerns of ESCs: embryo destruction and immune-incompatibility. It has been shown that hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) can be generated from iPSCs. Furthermore, human iPSCs (hiPSCs) can provide an unlimited source of human hepatocytes and hold great promise for applications in regenerative medicine, drug screening and liver diseases modelling. Despite steady progress, there are still several major obstacles that need to be overcome before iPSCs will reach the bedside. This review will focus on the current state of efforts to derive hiPSCs for potential use in modelling and treatment of liver disease. Full article
Open AccessReview Counseling Challenges with Variants of Uncertain Significance and Incidental Findings in Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 1018-1032; doi:10.3390/jcm3031018
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 18 June 2014 / Accepted: 22 July 2014 / Published: 12 September 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (667 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prenatal genetic screening and testing provides prospective parents information about the health of their fetus. It is offered to find or address an increased risk for chromosomal abnormalities or other genetic conditions in the fetus or to identify the cause of fetal structural
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Prenatal genetic screening and testing provides prospective parents information about the health of their fetus. It is offered to find or address an increased risk for chromosomal abnormalities or other genetic conditions in the fetus or to identify the cause of fetal structural abnormalities detected by prenatal imaging. Genome-wide tests, such as the already widely-used chromosomal microarray analysis and emerging diagnostic whole exome and whole genome sequencing, have improved the ability to detect clinically significant findings, but have also increased the chance of detecting incidental findings and variants of uncertain significance. There is an extensive ongoing discussion about optimal strategies for diagnostic laboratories to report such findings and for providers to communicate them with patients. While consensus opinions and guidelines are beginning to appear, they often exclude the prenatal setting, due to its unique set of challenging considerations. These include more limited knowledge of the impact of genetic variants when prospectively detected in an ongoing pregnancy, the absence or limitations of detecting clinically recognizable phenotypes at the time of testing and the different decision-making processes that will ensue from testing. In this review, we examine these challenges within the medical ethical framework unique to prenatal care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)

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Open AccessCase Report Fetal Aneuploidy Detection by Cell-Free DNA Sequencing for Multiple Pregnancies and Quality Issues with Vanishing Twins
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 679-692; doi:10.3390/jcm3030679
Received: 21 March 2014 / Revised: 12 May 2014 / Accepted: 15 May 2014 / Published: 25 June 2014
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (359 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) by random massively parallel sequencing of maternal plasma DNA for multiple pregnancies is a promising new option for prenatal care since conventional non-invasive screening for fetal trisomies 21, 18 and 13 has limitations and invasive diagnostic methods bear a
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Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) by random massively parallel sequencing of maternal plasma DNA for multiple pregnancies is a promising new option for prenatal care since conventional non-invasive screening for fetal trisomies 21, 18 and 13 has limitations and invasive diagnostic methods bear a higher risk for procedure related fetal losses in the case of multiple gestations compared to singletons. In this study, in a retrospective blinded analysis of stored twin samples, all 16 samples have been determined correctly, with four trisomy 21 positive and 12 trisomy negative samples. In the prospective part of the study, 40 blood samples from women with multiple pregnancies have been analyzed (two triplets and 38 twins), with two correctly identified trisomy 21 cases, confirmed by karyotyping. The remaining 38 samples, including the two triplet pregnancies, had trisomy negative results. However, NIPT is also prone to quality issues in case of multiple gestations: the minimum total amount of cell-free fetal DNA must be higher to reach a comparable sensitivity and vanishing twins may cause results that do not represent the genetics of the living sibling, as described in two case reports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
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Open AccessLetter Carrier Screening: Past, Present, and Future
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(3), 1033-1042; doi:10.3390/jcm3031033
Received: 17 June 2014 / Revised: 28 August 2014 / Accepted: 1 September 2014 / Published: 15 September 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (657 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To date, preconceptual and prenatal patients have been offered gene-by-gene, disorder-by-disorder carrier screening. Newer techniques allow screening of many disorders at one time. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of the current practice and future direction of carrier screening
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To date, preconceptual and prenatal patients have been offered gene-by-gene, disorder-by-disorder carrier screening. Newer techniques allow screening of many disorders at one time. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of the current practice and future direction of carrier screening within the preconceptual/prenatal setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)

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