Fetal brain sonography and fetal heart rate patterns in the preterm fetus
Objective: The objective of the study was to study whether peri- and intraventricular echodensities in the brain of fetuses at risk for preterm birth are associated with changes in fetal heart rate (FHR) parameters. Study Design: Twenty preterm fetuses with peri- and intraventricular echodensities detected by transvaginal ultrasonography were matched with 20 fetuses without echodensities for gestational age, growth parameters, clinical disease, and maternal medication. Baseline FHR, long- and short-term variability, and the presence of accelerations and decelerations were analyzed with a computerized system and compared with the Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test. Both cases and controls were compared with a normal population. Results: No statistical differences in FHR parameters were found between cases with and controls without peri- and intraventricular echodensities. Both cases and controls had lower long- and short-term variabilities than the normal population. Conclusion: No association between the presence of peri- and intraventricular echodensities and specific FHR changes was demonstrated. © 2008 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.