Current Research

Research is the key to the success of modern day medical practices. By conducting research, we can ask and answer important questions to better provide the best medical care for women and their babies.

For more information about our research, please email raft@cfri.ca.

Current studies:

Project title

Investigator(s) 

Study description 

Multicenter retrospective analysis of stage I twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome  Alain Gagnon, Tracy Pressey, Marie-France Delisle  A retrospective study looking at cases of Stage 1 Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome in order to assess the clinical factors at presentation and the evolution and outcomes of the pregnancies. 
     
Standardization and validation of lateral ventricle measurements  Amanda Easton  A single method for measuring fetal lateral ventricles by ultrasound has been used at BC Women’s DAP for more than 20 years. An axial plane at the level of the long axis of the ventricle and the choroid plexus is used. The calipers are placed at the widest anterior posterior diameter of the downside ventricle crossing the choroid.  

Dr. Laurent Guibaud introduced a newer method that uses a more inferior level and different landmarks (Ultrasound in Obst and Gyne 2009;34:127-130). This study compares the two methods and tests the usability of Dr. Guidbaud’s method on our lower mainland patient population at a gestational age of 19-32 weeks. 
     
Personalized genomics for prenatal aneuploidy screening using maternal blood  Sylvie Langlois, Amanda Skoll  It has been discovered recently that during pregnancy there is fetal DNA in maternal blood in sufficient quantities to be analysed and methods have been proposed to detect the presence or not of a fetus with Down syndrome using maternal blood.

The deliverables of this project will enable pregnant women and their partners to make informed choices pertaining to prenatal genetic screening and diagnosis, such as screening for Down syndrome, and reduce the risk to pregnancies associated with amniocentesis. 
     
Antenatal ultrasound and MRI diagnosis of fetal brain injury  Denise Pugash  This study will investigate how to use postmortem ultrasound and new techniques in 3 Tesla (3T) MRI to obtain more detailed information about the cause of fetal abnormalities.

In this pilot project, the research team will explore the technical capabilities and feasibility of performing postmortem diagnostic MRI scans at 3 Tesla. It could pave the way for future research using 3 Tesla MRI in high-risk pregnancies to improve our understanding of severe complications which may compromise the health of both mother and fetus. 
     
A novel screening test for preeclampsia (with ultrasound sub-study)  Peter von Dadelszen, Amy Metcalfe, KS Joseph  Preeclampsia is one of the most common and potentially serious pregnancy-associated disorders. Women with preeclampsia have high blood pressure, protein in their urine, and may develop multi-organ failure that affects the liver, kidneys, lungs and central nervous system.

The development of a new test to predict preeclampsia and its complications will help clinicians provide an accurate diagnosis early in pregnancy and modify patient care accordingly, thus allowing them to provide the best care for both mothers and babies. 
     
Fetal, infant and maternal outcomes among women with prolapsing membranes admitted before 29 weeks gestation Julie Robertson, Sarka Lisonkova, Peter von Dadelszen, KS Joseph  This study describes pregnancy complications and birth outcomes among women admitted to hospital with prolapsed membranes at 22-29 weeks gestation. Comparisons are made between women with prolapsed membranes at early gestation (22-24) versus later gestation (25-29 weeks) to evaluate differences in time to delivery and the effect of interventions including antibiotic treatment, tocolysis, antenatal steroids, and cerclage in this population.

     
A multivariable risk prediction tool for prolonged pregnancy: a single site pilot study Chantal Mayer, Blair Butler, Yasser Sabr, Jennifer Hutcheon Many women remain pregnant for over a week past their expected delivery date, and these women are at greater risk of having a stillbirth or other pregnancy complications.

Unfortunately, although women have frequent clinic visits once their pregnancy becomes prolonged, the tools currently used to monitor fetal health at these visits are poor.

This pilot study seeks to develop and refine ultrasound tools in order to better identify women at greater risk of pregnancy complications and predict adverse perinatal outcomes in prolonged pregnancies. It will take a number of promising but unvalidated screening tests and determine how feasible they are to conduct in the clinical setting.