Environment and complications during pregnancy

Where we are

SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

How to reach us

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Our research group conducts research aimed at studying pre-natal exposure to substance abuse (tobacco, alcohol and drugs) and environmental toxicants (air, water and chemicals) in foetal growth restriction groups compared with exposure in foetuses with normal weight for gestational age.

Together with the Hospital Clínic Barcelona and the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, we form part of the Barcelona Centre for Maternal and Neonatal Medicine (BCNatal), conducting research in collaboration with the Fetal Medicine Barcelona Foundation (Fetal R + D). Our group is also part of the Maternal and Child Health and Development Network (SAMID Network) (ref RD12/0026/0007).

In 2016, we commenced our collaboration with ISGlobal, with shared funding from the Health Research Fund (FIS), and a HEI Research Committee project (Health Effects Institute. USA): RFA 17-1 (November 2, 2017) "Traffic-related air pollution and birth weight: the role of noise, placental function, green space, diet, physical activity and socio-economic status (FRONTIER)". Then, in 2018, we started another project titled "AIR-NB. Pre-natal exposure to urban AIR pollution and pre- and post-Natal Brain development" following the call for ERC Advanced Grant.

Dr Gómez Roig has formed part of the Work Group on Reproductive and Environmental Health organised by FIGO (International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 2016 - 2019) since 2016. She is also currently a member of the FIGO Committ

Research lines

  1. Correlation of the different toxic agents (substances of abuse and environmental toxicants) existing in the foetal environment with placental insufficiency parameters (foetal percentile <3, cerebroplacental ratio (CPR) and uterine artery Doppler abnormality).
  2. The incidence of alcohol and tobacco consumption in pregnant women in our environment and to evaluate the results of an intervention (motivational interview) aimed at decreasing or cessation of consumption during pregnancy.
  3. The relationship between pre-natal (neurodevelopment: foetal neurosonogram), cardiac function (echocardiogram), perinatal (neonatal morbidity) and post-natal (neurological development) effects of exposure to toxicants.

Scientific objectives

  1. To demonstrate the efficacy of low molecular weight heparin for the treatment of early onset intrauterine foetal growth restriction, demonstrating prolonged gestation in such cases.
  2. To demonstrate the effectiveness of a motivational interview (MI) intervention on decreasing alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy and to transfer these results to public health programmes.
  3. To further advance the field of experimental research into therapeutic measures to decrease the effects of alcohol consumption on the foetus.
  4. To validate pre-natal markers predictive of post-natal neurodevelopment (neurosonogram and neurophysiological analysis using frequency-following response [FFR]).
  5. To establish a cohort of low-risk pregnant women for the pre-natal and post-natal study of the influence of the environment (environmental pollution, noise pollution, green spaces, stress and physical activity) on the foetus, the newborn infant or the child.

Area/Field of expertise

Our research forms part of the study of pre-natal exposure to substances of abuse and environmental toxicants.

To accomplish this, we measure toxic substances, alcohol (fatty acid ethyl esters [FAEE], and ethyl glucuronide [ETG]) using metabolomics techniques in the mother's hair (liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry [LC/MS/MS] and gas chromatography with mass spectrometry). We have also carried out phosphatidylethanol (PEth) measurements in umbilical cord blood and have initiated a MI technique as an intervention aimed at reducing the use of toxic substances during pregnancy.

We carry out pre-natal assessment of the effects of pre-natal exposure to a contaminated environment using neurosonogram and pre-natal echocardiogram (to study cardiac anatomy and function). This enables us to measure with remarkable accuracy the depth and degree of maturation of specific cortical fissures, sulci and the development of specific structures such as the corpus callosum and lateral ventricles.

In post-natal follow-up, we assess the FFR in infants as a marker of neurodevelopment using neurophysiological analysis.

Group members

Projects

Project name:
ATHLETE_Advancing Tools for Human Early Lifecourse Exposome research and Translation
Leader
Maria Dolores Gómez Roig
Funding entities:
European Commission
Code
874583
Starting - finishing date:
2020 - 2024
Project name:
BR201902 - Respuesta de seguimiento de frecuencia (RSD) como biomarcador de desarrollo neurocognitivo en reción nacidos con exposición prenatal al alcohol.
Leader
Maria Dolores Gómez Roig
Funding entities:
Hospital Sant Joan de Déu - Esplugues HSJD
Code
BR201902
Starting - finishing date:
2020 - 2023
Project name:
Traffic-related air pollution and birth weight: the roles of noise, placental function, green space, diet, physical activity, and socioeconomic status (FRONTIER)
Leader
Maria Dolores Gómez Roig
Funding entities:
Health Effects Institute (HEI)
Code
CR-83590201
Starting - finishing date:
2018 - 2022
More projects

Theses

  • Efectividad de la acupuntura y moxibustión en la versión espontánea del feto en presentación de nalgas
    Author
    Miranda García, Maite
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    10/12/2019
  • Maternal heavy metals and toxins exposure and their influences on fetal growth restrictioin clinical subtypes
    Author
    Sabra, Sally
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    22/01/2018
  • Desenvolupament d’un mètode de control de qualitat prospectiu pels marcadors ecogràfics quantitatius inclosos en el cribatge d’aneuploïdies.
    Author
    Sabrià Bach, Joan
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    03/07/2015
More Theses