Document Detail

Fetal acidemia and electronic fetal heart rate patterns: is there evidence of an association?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16753769     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Despite the ubiquity of electronic fetal monitoring, the validity of the relationship between various fetal heart rate (FHR) patterns and fetal acidemia has not yet been established in a large unselected series of consecutive pregnancies. The aim of this study was to examine the published literature for evidence of such a relationship. METHODS: Four hypotheses based on assumptions in common clinical use were examined. The literature was searched for relationships between certain aspects of FHR patterns (e.g., degree of FHR variability, depth of decelerations), and fetal acidemia, or fetal vigor (5-minute Apgar score >or=7). We also attempted to relate duration of these patterns to the degree of acidemia. Using standardized FHR nomenclature we defined patterns based on baseline FHR variability, baseline rate, decelerations, and accelerations. RESULTS: The following relationships were observed: (1) Moderate FHR variability was strongly associated (98%) with an umbilical pH >7.15 or newborn vigor (5-minute Apgar score >or=7). (2) Undetectable or minimal FHR variability in the presence of late or variable decelerations was the most consistent predictor of newborn acidemia, though the association was only 23%. (3) There was a positive relationship between the degree of acidemia and the depth of decelerations or bradycardia. (4) Except for sudden profound bradycardia, newborn acidemia with decreasing FHR variability in combination with decelerations develops over a period of time approximating one hour. Most studies identified were observational and uncontrolled (grade III evidence of US Preventive Services Task Force); however, there was general agreement amongst the various studies, strengthening the validity of the observations. CONCLUSIONS: The validity of the relationship between certain FHR patterns and fetal acidemia and/or vigor, is supported by observations from the literature. In addition four assumptions commonly used in clinical management are supported. These conclusions need to be confirmed by a prospective examination of a large number of consecutive, unselected FHR patterns, and their relationship to newborn acidemia. Pending the completion of such studies, these observations can be used to justify certain aspects of current clinical management, and may assist in standardizing the diversity of opinions regarding FHR pattern management.
J T Parer; T King; S Flanders; M Fox; S J Kilpatrick
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine : the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians     Volume:  19     ISSN:  1476-7058     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Matern. Fetal. Neonatal. Med.     Publication Date:  2006 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-06-06     Completed Date:  2006-11-22     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101136916     Medline TA:  J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  289-94     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California San Francisco, CA 94143-0132, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Acidosis / physiopathology*
Apgar Score
Fetal Blood
Fetal Diseases / physiopathology*
Fetal Monitoring / methods
Heart Rate, Fetal*
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Infant, Newborn

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