Monash Health Clinician-Researcher wins Top Abstract Award at World Congress of Ultrasound in O&G

Director of Perinatal Care Centre Associate Professor Daniel Rolnik has won the Top Abstract Award at the World Congress of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) in Seoul, South Korea. 

Out of more than 1,000 abstracts submitted, five were chosen to be presented at the Top Abstract Plenary Session. A/Prof Rolnik’s was voted by the scientific committee members as the Top Abstract. 

His abstract was a secondary analysis of the ASPRE trial: effects of aspirin on mean arterial blood pressure and uterine artery pulsatility index trajectories in pregnancy.  

The ASPRE trial was the largest study to date on aspirin for the prevention of pre-eclampsia, a relatively common hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition of pregnancy, characterised by high blood pressure, protein in the urine and severe swelling. Although most women with pre-eclampsia feel fine, the condition remains one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality for mothers and babies. That is why regular antenatal check-ups are vital. There is no cure for pre-eclampsia except the birth of the baby and delivery of the placenta.  

The trial showed a significant beneficial effect of aspirin in women at increased risk of more than 60% reduction of pre-eclampsia requiring delivery before 37 weeks and 90% reduction in very early pre-eclampsia with delivery before 32 weeks.   

The secondary analysis of the original trial data was to investigate the effects of aspirin use on blood pressure and blood flow to the uterus, as this was not the aim of the original trial. 

The analysis is an important one as it shows that aspirin drastically reduces the rate of pre-eclampsia in women who are at increased risk of the disease.  

“The study looked at what happens with blood pressure and uterine blood flow in women at increased risk of pre-eclampsia who received aspirin prevention compared to those who received a placebo, with over 5,000 measurements collected from the trial participants.  

“We have basically shown that aspirin does not affect blood pressure directly but improves blood flow to the uterus, potentially also improving the development of the placenta and fetal growth,” A/Prof Rolnik explains. 

He says he is delighted to win the top abstract award as ISUOG is a highly respected institution. Its World Congress is one of the main events in the field, attended by 2,000 to 3,000 delegates from over 100 countries every year.  

“Being awarded the Top Abstract amongst over 1,300 submitted abstracts is an important recognition by our peers of the quality and importance of our research, which ultimately aims to improve maternal and child health around the world,” he says. 

ISUOG is a charitable organisation and the leading international society of experts in ultrasound for obstetrics and gynaecology. ISUOG started in 1991 with the first issue of UOG Journal and the first World Congress. It has now grown to deliver education to members in 140 countries.