More perinatal deaths associated with poor long-term variability during antenatal fetal heart-rate monitoring

Odendaal H.J. (1990)


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Positive stress and non-stress tests of 243 infants were examined for accelerations and the duration of poor long-term variability during fetal heart rate monitoring. Accelerations were present in 47% when the variability was good. No accelerations were seen when poor variability lasted for more than 75% of the monitoring time; this was also associated with lower birth-weights, shorter gestational duration and lower 5-minute Apgar scores. These measurements improved as the period of poor variability decreased. Intra-uterine death occurred in 1,9% of infants when the variability was good, in 3,6% when the variability lasted for less than 75% of the recording time and in 19,6% when the poor variability lasted longer than 75% of the recording time. Neonatal deaths occurred in 7,5% and 21,7% of these three groups, respectively. Poor long-term variability was also associated with growth-retardation.

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