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Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine Research

The Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine faculty and fellows are actively involved in multiple areas of research including:

  • Vasa previa: diagnosis and management
  • Pregnancy outcomes in the super obese
  • Management of interstitial ectopic pregnancies
  • Misoprostol use in induction of labor
  • Evaluation of urine protein excretion in patients with pyelonephritis
  • Evaluation of a labor dystocia checklist on cesarean delivery rates
  • Assessing progression from mild to severe preeclampsia in expectantly managed preterm parturients
  • Evaluation of estrogen regulatory effects on uterine artery
  • Evaluation of validity of rapid GBS in preterm patients
  • Use of Nextfin continuous hemodynamic monitoring in pregnant patients
  • Evaluation of how betamethasone affects neurodevelopment through placental histopathological correlates
  • Ultrasound versus Leopold’s technique in estimation of fetal weight in obese women
  • Cord blood lactate levels in preterm gestations
  • Ethnic disparities in birth outcomes
  • Outcomes for high-risk pregnancies by hospital level of care
  • Impact of obesity and gestational weight gain on pregnancy outcomes
  • Domestic violence and health training for professionals cross disciplinary training (combined grant project with Orange County Women’s Health Project Initiative to end family violence)

Randomized controlled trials

  • Appropriate dosing of preoperative antibiotics for cesarean delivery in obese women
  • Appropriate dosing of enoxaparin thromboprophylaxis in obsese women
  • Comparison of skin closure techniques for cesarean delivery in super obese women
  • Outpatient versus inpatient foley balloon induction
  • The effect of NSAIDs on postpartum hypertension
  • Dosing and type of IV fluids and the effect on labor outcomes
  • The effect of maternal oxygen supplementation on neonatal acid/base status and oxygen level at birth

Collaborative studies

UC Irvine is a part of the University of California Fetal Consortium (UCfC), a multi-site research collaboration between five University of California sites. As a part of the consortium, we have led and participated in several studies:

  • Multi-institutional practice patterns and outcomes in uncomplicated gastroschisis
  • Factors associated with gastroschisis outcomes
  • Maternal and neonatal outcomes after antenatal corticosteroid administration for PPROM at 32-33 six/seven weeks gestational age
  • Complicated placenta accreta and perinatal outcomes
  • ION (indomethacin or nifedipine) trial: A randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of tocolytics for preterm labor
  • Placenta accreta biomarker study: A prospective study identifying potential biomarkers for placenta accreta
  • Congenital heart disease and microarray study
  • Improving assessment of antenatal estimated fetal weight in fetal gastroschisis
  • Monochorionic twin antenatal assessment and mangement practices

Basic science research

  • Maternal physiology and placental biology
  • Steroid (estrogen) and growth factor regulation of uterine hemodynamics and placental angiogenesis
  • Role of hydrogen sulfide in maternal uterine and systemic vascular adaptions to pregnancy

Clinical study contacts

For more detailed information on our current clinical studies please contact:

Lizette Spiers, CRC
Clinical Research Manager

Basic science research contact

For more detailed information on our current basic science research please contact:
Dongbao Chen, PhD
Director, Perinatal Research Laboratory

Dr. Chen is a tenured professor of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Department of Pathology. He enjoys working with basic, translational, and clinician scientists in reproductive endocrinology and physiology, vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cell biology, functional proteomics, and obstetric and gynecologic disorders. His perinatal research program has been continuously funded by NIH and AHA as well as private foundations since 2001. He studies uterine hemodynamics regulation and placental biology in normal pregnancy pertaining to pregnancy complications, especially preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction, and placental accreta. Ongoing NIH RO1-funded studies focus on a novel role of hydrogen sulfide and its interactions with nitric oxide in uterine and placental vascular adaptations to pregnancy and preeclampsia under the influence of estrogens and vascular endothelial growth factors.

Support maternal fetal medicine research

If you would like to make a donation to our fellowship fund, which aids fellows in research support and conference travel:

Area of Support: MEDICINE — School of Medicine

Gift Designation: Pamela J. Rumney Maternal Fetal Medical Fellows Education Fund