A population-based study of abdominal wall defects in South Australia and Western Australia.
Byron-Scott R. Haan E. Chan A. Bower C. Scott H. Clark K.
South Australian Birth Defects Register, Department of Medical Genetics and Epidemiology, Women's and Children's Hospital, North Adelaide.
The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence, clinical characteristics, prenatal diagnosis and occurrence of other birth defects with abdominal wall defects in births and terminations of pregnancy in South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA) over the period 1980-90. Cases of gastroschisis, exomphalos, bladder exstrophy, cloacal exstrophy and body stalk anomaly were ascertained from the WA Birth Defects Registry (1980-90) and the SA Birth Defects Register (1986-90). The registers are comparable population-based data collections with information on livebirths and stillbirths of at least 400 g birthweight or 20 weeks' gestation, and terminations of pregnancy for fetal abnormality. The prevalence of gastroschisis was 1.65/10,000 births (59 cases) and of exomphalos 2.90/10,000 births (104 cases). There was no significant difference in prevalence of exomphalos or gastroschisis between SA and WA for the years 1986-90. However, if data from WA for the years 1980-85 were included, SA had a significantly higher prevalence of exomphalos (prevalence ratio 1.71, confidence interval [CI] 1.16-2.55), although not of gastroschisis (prevalence ratio 1.35, CI 0.79-2.32). Exomphalos was significantly more common in mothers < 20 years (odds ratio [OR] 2.45, CI 1.22-4.86) and in mothers of 40 years or older (OR 5.65, CI 1.69-16.77). Gastroschisis was more common in younger mothers (OR 8.76, CI 4.02-19.32). Both exomphalos and gastroschisis were associated with low birthweight, prematurity, intrauterine growth retardation and caesarean section. The reason for the higher prevalence of exomphalos in SA than WA was not clear, but may be related to differences in prenatal diagnosis. The association between maternal age < 20 years and exomphalos raises the possibility of common factors in the aetiology of gastroschisis and exomphalos.
Carob bean juice: a powerful adjunct to oral rehydration solution treatment in diarrhoea.
Aksit S. Caglayan S. Cukan R. Yaprak I.
Ege University Medical Faculty, Bornova, Izmir, Turkey.
In children, the treatment of acute diarrhoea with the World Health Organization (WHO) standard oral rehydration solution (ORS) provides effective rehydration but does not reduce the severity of diarrhoea. In community practice, carob bean has been used to treat diarrhoeal diseases in Anatolia since ancient times. In order to test clinical antidiarrhoeal effects of carob bean juice (CBJ), 80 children, aged 4-48 months, who were admitted to SSK Tepecik Teaching Hospital with acute diarrhoea and mild or moderate dehydration, were randomly assigned to receive treatment with either standard WHO ORS alone or a combination of standard WHO ORS and CBJ. Three patients were excluded from the study because of excessive vomiting. In the children receiving ORS + CBJ the duration of diarrhoea was shortened by 45%, stool output was reduced by 44% and ORS requirement was decreased by 38% compared with children receiving ORS alone. Weight gain was similar in the two groups at 24 h after the initiation of the study. Hypernatraemia was detected in three patients in the ORS group but in none of those in the ORS + CBJ group. The use of CBJ in combination with ORS did not lead to any clinical metabolic problem. We therefore conclude that CBJ may have a role in the treatment of children's diarrhoea after it has been technologically processed, and that further studies would be justified.