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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Beyond recanalizing proximal tube occlusion: the argument for further diagnosis and classification.

Proximal tube occlusion (PTO) accounts for 20% of tubal factor cases. The classification into nodular (salpingitis isthmica nodosa or endometriosis), non-nodular (true fibrotic occlusion) and so-called pseudo occlusion (detritus, polyps, hypoplastic tubes) is essential. Using falloposcopy, PTO that is already diagnosed by laparoscopy and hysterosalpingography (HSG) can be confirmed or bypassed (false PTO); patients with false PTO were placed on a temporary waiting period. Nodular and pseudo occlusion patients were pre-treated with gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogue (GnRH-a) for at least 6 weeks to shrink the underlying pathology, after which tubal re-catheterization was performed. In a prospective study starting in July 1993, 53 patients prediagnosed as having PTO were examined by falloposcopy. Three of these patients had non-nodular occlusion and were directed to microsurgical repair (conservative treatment not possible). A total of 19 cases revealed patent tubes with healthy mucosa and no underlying pathology (false PTO). Of the remaining 31 patients, 18 were classified as nodular and 13 as pseudo occlusion. In all of these patients at least one tube was patent after GnRH-a treatment. After a 6 month period, 37% of the false PTO patients achieved a spontaneous pregnancy (6% per cycle). The spontaneous pregnancy rate in the true PTO group was significantly lower (10% per patient, 1.6% per month; P < 0.05). Using assisted reproduction techniques, in particular gamete intra-Fallopian transfer (GIFT), as a subsequent treatment for the true PTO group, a pregnancy rate of 50% per cycle was achieved. A retrospective analysis of our entire PTO population (n = 109) showed a spontaneous pregnancy rate after achieving tubal patency (using falloposcopy and GnRH-a) that was dramatically low (1.8%), with no difference between the nodular and pseudo groups. The chance for pregnancy can be enhanced significantly (P < 0.001) using assisted reproduction techniques (GIFT) following tubal re-catheterization and GnRH-a treatment.[1]


  1. Beyond recanalizing proximal tube occlusion: the argument for further diagnosis and classification. Wiedemann, R., Sterzik, K., Gombisch, V., Stuckensen, J., Montag, M. Hum. Reprod. (1996) [Pubmed]
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