Gestational diseases and disorders in pregnancy: prevention, identification, treatment and control

Friday, 18 October 2013

This is a Euroscicon Small Conference,  an outline of the day can be found at

Gestational diseases and disorders in pregnancy: prevention, identification, treatment and control
Friday, 18 October 2013 09:00 - 17:00

Cineworld: The O2
Peninsula Square
SE10 0DX
United Kingdom

Map and Directions

Gestational maternal diseases and disorders, brought on by pregnancy, can impact on maternal and foetal health both during and after pregnancy.  This  event aims is to look at current research and practice into early identification of disease development and treatment that has low foetal impact.

This event has CPD accreditation and is part of the 2013 Pregnancy Summit -

Meeting Chair: Professor Ray Iles, Chief Scientist, The ELK-Foundation for Health Research and MAP Diagnostics, UK

Who Should Attend

Biotech and Pharma Industry: CEOs, Chief Scientists, Group Heads, Senior and Junior Scientists, Research working in the field of autoimmunity or pregnancy

Academic and Research Institutes: Group and Lab Heads, Postdoctoral Scientists and Research Students working in the field of  autoimmunity or pregnancy

Clinicians: Anyone working in the field of pregnancy and diagnosing pregnancy-related illnesses and pregnancy outcome

The deadline for abstract submissions for oral and poster presentation has now passed.

Talk times include 5 – 10 minutes for questions

9:00 – 9:45         Registration

9:45 – 10:15       Introduction by the Chair: Should we be measuring maternal cortisol throughout pregnancy?

Professor Ray Iles, Chief Scientist, The ELK-Foundation for Health Research and MAP Diagnostics, UK
Stress is both a physical and psychological manifestation but has profound endocrinological responseswhich not only leads to aging/allostatic loading of adult tissues but effect both physical and psychologicalneurological development of the fetus. A major driver in the stress response is cortisol which not onlyactivates many of these metabolic and neurological changes but can act as a marker of the amount ofstress hormones to which the developing fetus is being exposed. The importance of cortisol in maternaland fetal health post pre and post partum is discussed as are studies suggesting the long term effects onthe determination of the anxiety personality of an individual may be are affected by fetal exposure tocortisol in utero. If maternal stress  and cortisol does profoundly effect the psychoneuroendocrinology of thenewborn how and when should we measure it.

10:15 – 10:45      How Gestational Syndromes predict future maternal and paternal health

Dr David Williams, University College Hospital, UKPregnancy acts as a physical stress test for the mother. In order for pregnancy to succeed a woman needsto make profound physiological adaptations. Failure to make these changes adversely affects pregnancyoutcome and can lead to gestational syndromes. Delivery of the baby is the cure, but  pregnancy outcomecan predict a mother's future health and even the health of the father. This talk discusses these issues andpotential measures to prevent primary disease in the parents.

10:45 – 11:15    C19MC microRNAs – potential biomarkers for preeclampsia, gestational hypertension and

fetal growth restriction

Professor Ilona Hromadnikova, Head, Dpt. Molecular Biology and Cell Pathology, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University Prague, Czech Republic
MicroRNAs belong to a family of small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression. There has been atrend in prenatal medicine over the last 10 years to develop non-invasive methods utilizing quantification ofcirculating nucleic acids, inclusive of microRNAs. For the first time we demonstrated that the expressionprofile of C19MC microRNAs differed in placental tissues between pregnancy-related complications andcontrols. The down-regulation of C19MC microRNAs was more common in patients with preeclampsia andfetal growth restriction and less common in gestational hypertension. Likewise, we showed that circulatingC19MC microRNAs also played a role in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia, but not in the pathogenesis ofgestational hypertension, and fetal growth restriction. The study brought interesting finding that theup-regulation of circulating C19MC microRNA biomarkers (miR-517*, miR-520a* and miR-525) is acharacteristic phenomenon of pregnancies with established preeclampsia.

11:15 – 11:45     Speakers’ photo then mid-morning break and poster exhibition and trade show

11:45 – 12:15     A newly designed pathway for the management of suspected inguinal hernias in pregnancy

Dr Michael N. Lechner, Surgeon, Department of Surgery, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria
Pregnant women with a swelling of the groin are often referred for herniotomy after clinical examinationonly. Differential diagnosis are hardly considered, sonography is not usually employed and patients areoccasionally subjected to surgical exploration of the inguinal region. We evaluated 18 cases prospectively,detected no hernias but always noted the presence of round ligament varicosis. All women gaveuncomplicated birth, their complaints subsided within weeks after delivery and no patient had developedhernias by the end of follow-up after a median 11 months. With the described diagnostic pathway thecorrect diagnosis can be made and surgery is avoided.

12:15  – 12:45    The Baby Bio Bank: a collection of biological samples and medical data from 2500 families affected by recurrent miscarriage, preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction and pre-eclampsia available to researchers internationally
Dr Nita Solanky,
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK
The BabyBioBank is a unique collection of biological samples and medical data available to researchersinterested in understanding pregnancy complications. Our target is to recruit 2000 trios (mother, father andbaby) from pregnancies affected by recurrent miscarriage, preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction andpre-eclampsia,  and 500 normal trios for comparative purposes. Blood samples for DNA, serum andplasma, and urine, are collected from parents. After delivery we collect placental tissue, membranes,umbilical cord and cord blood for DNA, RNA and protein isolation. Quality control has shown that thesamples are of high quality. We also collect 300 fields of clinical information relating to factors affectingpregnancy and fetal outcome. Information on the BabyBioBank is available at including protocols and information about the application procedure.

12:45  – 13:45    Lunch, poster exhibition and trade show

13:45 – 14:45     Discussion session

This discussion session is an informal question and answer session.  This is an ideal opportunity to get advice and opinion from experts in this area.  This session is not for questions about specific talks, which can be asked after the speakers session, but for discussing either general topics or specific issues.

There are three ways you can ask questions:

1.   Before the session you can submit your question to Euroscicon staff at the registration desk,
2.   Before and during the session you can submit a question or comments, by email, which will beprovided on the day of the event
3.   During the session you can put your hand up and join in

14:45 – 15:00    Oral Presentations:

14:45 – 15:00    Dietary treatment in gestational diabetes relation with birth weight

Marianne Vestgaard, Allan Stubbe Christensen, Lone Viggers, Finn Friis Lauszus
Dept. of Obstetrics and Nutrition, Herning Hospital, Denmark, Corresponding author: Finn Friis Lauszus.

15:00 – 15:30    Afternoon Tea,  last poster session and trade show


15:30 – 16:00    Is it time for universal thyroid screening for pregnant women?                              

Dr Bijay Vaidya, Consultant Endocrinologist & Honorary Associate Professor, Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital & University of Exeter Medical School, UKThyroid hormones are important for neurological development of the fetus. However, the fetal thyroid glanddoes not secrete thyroid hormones until about 14 weeks gestation; the fetus relies on maternal thyroidhormones in early pregnancy. There is increasing evidence that even mild thyroid hormone insufficiency inpregnancy is associated with impaired neurological development of offspring and other adverse obstetricoutcomes. Therefore, should all pregnant women be screened and treated for mild thyroid dysfunction?This talk discusses the evidence for and against universal thyroid screening in pregnancy.

16:00 - 16:30  Non-invasive prenatal testing: Towards point-of-care tools in clinics and hospitals
Dr Maiwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas, Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow, Heriot-Watt University,UK
The flow of circulating foetal nucleic acids (cfNA) in maternal circulation provides a unique opportunity towards the development of techniques for Non Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) for identifying and controling gestational diseases and disorders such as pre-eclampsia and chromosomal abnormalities. However, the requirement of specialist and costly equipment limit the broad implementation of existing techniques. Microfluidics, the precise manipulation of fluid at the microscale, is an enabling technology which may overcome some of the current NIPT challenges and deliver faster results at a cheaper cost. In the discussion for near-patient testing, a novel direct cfNA sample preparation will be presented. 

16:30- 17:00     Chairman’s Summary and Close of Meeting

Keywords:  pregnancy, biomarkers, gestational diabetes, autoimmune disease,  Pre-eclampsia, postpartum depression,fetal growth restriction, pregnancy, Prenatal testing, non-invasive, point-of-care, microfluidics, circulatingDNA, inguinal hernia, pregnancy, managment, round ligament varicosis, pathway, Thyroid, pregnancy, screening, Biobank,Recurrent miscarriage, IUGR, Prematurity, Pre-eclampsia

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