Document Detail

Normal fetal physiology and behavior, and adaptive responses with hypoxemia.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18652920     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The principal objective of antenatal testing is to detect fetal hypoxia before the fetus has suffered lasting harm. This article summarizes some of the mechanisms by which fetal oxygen consumption is maintained under normal conditions, and adaptations that occur in response to hypoxemia. Alterations in the fetal heart rate are prominent in the fetal response to hypoxemia and are the basis of some methods of antenatal testing. The principal mechanisms underlying these fetal heart rate changes are described. Adaptations in the distribution of blood flow that permit the fetus to deal with reduced oxygen levels are summarized. Developmental trends in fetal motility and behavior are outlined, and also how these are modified by fetal growth retardation and maternal diabetes. Fetal movements are suppressed during acute hypoxemia, but with gradually developing hypoxemia, normal movement patterns may continue until the fetus becomes acidemic. This may limit the use of these biophysical variables in antenatal testing.
Chester B Martin
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Seminars in perinatology     Volume:  32     ISSN:  0146-0005     ISO Abbreviation:  Semin. Perinatol.     Publication Date:  2008 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-07-25     Completed Date:  2008-12-11     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7801132     Medline TA:  Semin Perinatol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  239-42     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Physiological*
Fetal Hypoxia / physiopathology*
Fetal Movement
Fetus / blood supply,  physiology*
Heart Rate, Fetal

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