Do Probiotics Prevent Gestational Diabetes in Obese/Overweight patients? A Systematic Review

The final article to be included in our Spring 2023 issue is linked below. Enjoy!

Introduction: While some studies suggest probiotic supplements may prevent Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), it is unclear if probiotics effectively prevent GDM among overweight and obese patients. This systematic review synthesizes recommendations for clinical practice and future research by evaluating the quality of evidence regarding Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium containing probiotics to prevent GDM among obese and overweight patients. 

Methods: PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and Web of Science were searched using appropriate MeSH terms. Results were limited to randomized controlled trials published between 2011-2021. Titles and abstracts were screened for relevance after duplicates were removed. Included studies diagnosed GDM according to by International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Group criteria, suspended probiotic use prior to intervention, excluded participants with altered glucose metabolism, included participants with a BMI ≥25kg/m2, and provided a specified dose of probiotic supplements. Articles without statistical analysis were excluded. Resulting articles were critically appraised using Version 2 of the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool.

Results: This search strategy resulted in 24 articles after duplicates were removed. Five double- blind randomized controlled trials found the incidence of GDM during the third trimester was not significantly different between probiotic and control groups. There was wide variation in the bacterial species, dose and duration of probiotic treatments used. All studies have a high risk of bias due to non-adherence to the treatment.

Discussion: This review used a highly sensitive criteria for GDM diagnosis that may mask a preventative effect of probiotics. Non-compliance may bias results towards the null given insufficient analysis of the effect of adhering to the intervention. No patterns between length of probiotic intervention or probiotic species and improved glucose tolerance were noted.

Conclusions: Current evidence is not sufficient to recommend probiotic supplements to prevent GDM in overweight and obese patients. Future evidence should address the effect of adhering to probiotic interventions and develop consistent probiotic intervention protocols.

Vulvovaginal Lacerations Following Consensual Versus Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse

We are pleased to share another manuscript that will be included in our Spring 2023 issue.

Background: The medical literature on vulvovaginal lacerations following consensual versus nonconsensual sexual intercourse is sparse and conflicting.

Objectives: To compare the predisposing factors, injury location and severity, as well as treatment of vulvovaginal lacerations sustained during consensual versus nonconsensual sexual intercourse, in adult women within a community-based cohort.

Methods: This is a retrospective comparative analysis of adult women presenting to the emergency departments of five hospitals and a free-standing nurse examiner clinic during a seven-year study period. All patients had documented vulvovaginal lacerations and reported vaginal penetration via consensual sexual intercourse (CSI) or nonconsensual sexual intercourse (NCSI) within 72 hours of presentation.

Results: A total of 598 cases were identified: 81 (14%) reported CSI, and 517 (87%) reported NCSI. CSI patients were younger (21.3 vs 25.7, p <0.001) and reported a greater incidence of penile penetration (97.5% vs 75.9%, p <0.001). While NCSI subjects had a higher incidence of vulvovaginal lacerations overall (1.7 vs. 1.0, p<0.001), their injuries were smaller (1.1 cm vs. 4.3 cm, p<0.001) and more likely to be located on the posterior vulva (83% vs. 69%, p=0.003) when compared to the CSI group. Additionally, all the lacerations in the NCSI group were superficial. In contrast, 27 (33%) of CSI subjects had lacerations sutured in the ED; six (7%) required aggressive fluid resuscitation and ten (12%) required surgical intervention.

Conclusions: In this community-based population, more severe vulvovaginal lacerations were noted in women following CSI. The predisposing factors, injury location, and subsequent treatment in this group were significantly different when compared with women reporting NCSI.

Diffusion Tensor Imaging: A Step-by-Step Guide for Radiology and Neurology Clerkship Students, Residents, and Graduate Students Using Clinical Research Examples

We are pleased to share our latest manuscript for our Spring 2023 issue.


Diffusion-tensor imaging has become common practice in radiology and imaging research due to its many applications in brain connectivity and neurodevelopment as well as for pathologies including tumors, ischemia, trauma, and neurodegeneration. However, its novelty compared to other neuroimaging techniques has meant that graduate programs, particularly medical schools, have not included opportunities to learn how diffusion tensor imaging can visualize the brain and interpretation of the data clinically and in research. Diffusion tensor imaging can be a challenging utility to understand for newcomers and is subject to wide interpretation. We offer for medical and graduate students as well as residents a step-by-step guide in interpreting diffusion tensor imaging results for clinical analysis using simple explanations of physics and neuroscience and its application in clinical and translational research.

Just like the simulations: Improving medical student confidence with simulated emergency medicine scenarios

Check out our latest article below.

Background: Incoming emergency medicine residents may feel unsure of their ability to handle common emergency department scenarios, even if they are well educated on the proper steps to take in those scenarios. This may not stem from a lack of skill so much as a lack of confidence in their ability to perform with skills they have. 

Objective: We look to establish a link between completion of simulation- based training in common emergency medicine scenarios and learner self-reported confidence in their ability to perform competently in those scenarios. 

Methods: Fourth-year medical students who matched into an emergency medicine residency program participated in a Transitional Educational Program (TEP) at the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center at the University of Toledo in April 2021. Simulations of 16 procedural skills and clinical judgement cases were carried out using high-fidelity mannequins and real medical equipment in a hospital-based setting. Subjects were given pre- and post- TEP survey questionnaires assessing their self-reported confidence to competently perform in common emergency medicine clinical scenarios, using a 5-grade Likert scale. Data was analyzed using a one-tailed Wilcoxon signed-rank matched-pairs test. 

Results: Of 19 participating subjects, 16 (84.2%) consented and responded to the pre-survey. Of those 16 subjects, 10 (62.5%) completed the surveys at the correct time and order. The pre- and post- surveys consisted of the same 14 questions. In 11 of 14 survey questions, there was a significant increase in subject self-reported confidence (p<.05) between pre- and post-survey. 

Conclusions: Simulation-based training in the setting of high-fidelity equipment and faculty guidance improved the self-reported confidence of incoming emergency medicine residents to perform in common emergency medicine scenarios.