Skip directly to content

Coming dissertations at MedFak

  • Function and morbidity of the esophagus and respiratory system in the growing child with esophageal atresia Author: Felipe Donoso Link: Publication date: 2020-11-12 13:08

    Background: Esophageal atresia (EA) is a congenital malformation that consists of various degrees of discontinuity of the esophagus and affects about 1:3000 live births. EA is usually corrected at birth with survival rates over 90%, which has shifted the focus towards improvement of associated morbidity and health-related quality of life.

    The aims of this thesis were to investigate how morbidity in the esophagus and respiratory system in children with EA relates with diagnostic and function tests included in the follow-up programme after EA repair and evaluate the efficacy of the recommended proton pump inhibitor (PPI) prophylaxis.

    Methods: The study population consists of 169 children treated for EA in the Department of Pediatric Surgery at University Children’s Hospital, Uppsala between 1994 and 2018. The patients participated in the multidisciplinary follow-up programme that was established in 2011 for patients with EA. The thesis is based on four observational studies that investigated the outcome of the patients and generalisability of the results; risk factors for anastomotic strictures and the efficacy of PPI-treatment regimen in reducing its incidence; pulmonary function and risk factors for pulmonary function impairment; and association between ambulatory 24h pH test, endoscopic findings of esophagitis and hiatal hernia, symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (GER), and histopathological esophagitis. The studies were approved by the Regional Committee for Medical Research Ethics.

    Results: The demographics and outcome of our study population are comparable with centres of higher caseload, showing low mortality rate but significant morbidity, especially considering anastomotic strictures and patients with long gap EA. Long gap EA, higher birth weight, and anastomotic tension were independent risk factors of anastomotic stricture formation. Prophylactic PPI-treatment did not reduce anastomotic strictures compared with symptomatic PPI-treatment. Respiratory morbidity and obstruction of the airways were common in children and adolescents after EA repair. The risk for pulmonary function impairment increased with lower birth weight and older age at follow-up. Neither ambulatory 24h pH-metry, clinical symptoms of GER nor endoscopic esophagitis were reliable tools to identify histopathological esophagitis in children and adolescents after EA repair and cannot replace esophageal biopsies.

    Conclusion: The poor correlation between clinical symptoms and morbidity of the esophagus and respiratory system justifies the need of clinical follow-up programmes in patients with EA. A general recommendation to stop prophylactic PPI-treatment after EA repair cannot be supported, however, sufficient evidence is available to support randomised controlled studies.

  • Care for the New-Born : Breastfeeding and Skin-to-Skin Contact Author: Paola Oras Link: Publication date: 2020-11-12 09:29

    Breastfeeding is associated with improved health in mothers and children and human milk is especially beneficial for preterm infants. The vast majority of pregnant women in Sweden intend to breastfeed, but breastfeeding rates are suboptimal, with even lower rates for preterm infants.

    The overall aim of this thesis was to describe breastfeeding patterns of preterm and term infants and to evaluate an intervention based on the Ten steps to successful breastfeeding on breastfeeding outcomes.

    In Paper I, mothers of preterm infants reported large variations in breastfeeding frequencies and patterns. The median breastfeeding frequencies from birth to six months ranged from 10–14 times per 24 hours with the majority practicing on demand breastfeeding.

    In Paper II the median daily duration of skin-to-skin contact in preterm infants during the hospital stay was associated with earlier breastfeeding attainment. Infants commenced full breastfeeding at a median postmenstrual age of 35+0 weeks (range 32+1 to 37+5). Breastfeeding duration was shorter than national statistics.

    Paper III describes the development and implementation of a breastfeeding support program for term and preterm infants using Intervention Mapping. The method was time-consuming, but allowed for a solid theoretical base, high involvement of stakeholders and was sufficiently comprehensive.

    Paper IV included term infants at age two months and their mothers and consisted of a baseline group and intervention group. Mothers reported large variations in breastfeeding frequencies and patterns. Mothers in the intervention group breastfed more frequently, in median 14 times compared to 11 times in the baseline group, and they also practiced on demand breastfeeding to a larger extent. Mothers with exclusive breastfeeding reported higher self -efficacy.

    This thesis provides a better understanding of breastfeeding patterns in preterm and term infants and it demonstrates that breastfeeding frequencies and on demand breastfeeding can be influenced with improved breastfeeding support. For preterm infants, breastfeeding attainment is facilitated by skin-to-skin-contact and they have the capability to breastfeed at a low postmenstrual age. This thesis also demonstrates a possible link between breastfeeding patterns and mothers’ ability to interpret infant cues. Intervention Mapping is a useful tool in the development of breastfeeding support programs.

  • Craniofacial malformations and psychiatric disorders from a neurodevelopmental perspective Author: Karin K. Tillman Link: Publication date: 2020-11-12 09:09

    Orofacial clefts (OFC) and craniosynostosis (CS) are the two most common craniofacial malformations. Of note, craniofacial abnormalities share some overlapping risk factors with psychiatric disorders. Thus, this thesis aimed to study psychiatric and educational outcomes in this group.

    In study I and III we examined psychiatric outcomes among children with nonsyndromic OFC stratified on cleft lip (CL), cleft lip and palate (CLP), cleft palate only (CPO), unilateral and bilateral CL and CLP. In study II we studied associations between nonsyndromic CS (NSCS) and psychiatric disorders. Study IV assessed national standardised tests in Swedish and mathematics, school grades and university degrees in children with CL, CLP and CPO. Children with craniofacial malformations were identified through the Swedish National Patient Register and compared to a cohort from the general population that was matched for month and year of birth, sex and county of birth. In addition, children with craniofacial malformations were compared to their unaffected siblings.

    Individuals with OFC presented risk increases for intellectual disability, language disorders, psychosis, autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and behavioural disorders in childhood. CPO showed the most robust associations, followed in descending order by CLP and CL. Nonaffected siblings had a lower risk of psychiatric disorders. Females generally had higher risks for psychiatric comorbidity (Study I).

    Children with bilateral clefts had higher risk increases for psychiatric disorders compared to children with unilateral clefts. We also found that females with bilateral CLP showed higher risks for intellectual disability and neurodevelopmental disorders compared to males with bilateral CLP (Study III).

    Risk increases for any psychiatric disorder including intellectual disability, language disorders, other neurodevelopmental disorders and other psychiatric disorders, were seen in individuals with NSCS. In the crude analyses full siblings with NSCS, as compared to nonaffected siblings, were more likely to be diagnosed with any psychiatric disorder, intellectual disability, language disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The higher risk for any psychiatric disorder and intellectual disability remained after adjusting for confounders. Females displayed borderline higher risk increases than males (Study II).

    Finally, children with OFC had lower school performance almost throughout the educational years, especially in mathematics. Lower academic achievement was most evident in children with OFC without a concurrent psychiatric disorder. In the ninth school year and upper secondary school female academic outcomes were more negatively affected than male academic outcomes (Study IV).

    In summary, craniofacial malformations were associated with increased risks for multiple psychiatric disorders and lower academic achievement.