The Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine is very active in clinical research to improve pregnancy outcomes. Areas of focus of this research include prevention of premature birth, fetal growth restriction, fetal infections, preeclampsia, thyroid disorders of pregnancy, and asthma. Many of these studies have been presented at national meetings and published in prestigious journals. Since 2001, we have been part of the Clinical Trials Network of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and participated in clinical studies that have changed the way care is given to high risk mothers. Specific findings of our Network studies include the benefit of progesterone injections for the prevention of recurrent preterm birth, the benefit of antenatal magnesium sulfate for the prevention of death or cerebral palsy associated with preterm delivery, lack of benefit of calcium supplementation for the prevention of preeclampsia, and lack of benefit of fetal pulse oximetry for monitoring during labor.
The Division has also collaborated with or major centers from around the country on multicenter clinical trials in other areas. The collaborative networks have investigated genomic markers of preterm birth, novel methods of prenatal genetic diagnosis, determinants of adverse pregnancy outcomes in first time mothers, and methods to control excess weight gain during pregnancy. Currently recruiting clinical trials include the following:
- Benefits and risks of elective labor induction at 39 weeks gestation
- Treatment to prevent the adverse consequences of cytomegalovirus infection during pregnancy
- Computerized fetal heart rate tracing interpretation to better evaluate fetal condition during labor
- Intervention to control excess maternal weight gain in overweight and obese women
- Benefits of antenatal corticosteroids to improve outcomes for infants born in the late preterm period
For more information on these or other clinical trials in obstetrics, please call 312-472-4685.
For information on National Institute of Health sponsored Clinical Trials at Northwestern University, ClinicalTrials.gov offers easy access to information on clinical trials on a wide variety of diseases and conditions.