Vibro-acoustic stimulation in high-risk pregnancies; Maternal perception of fetal movements, fetal heart rate and fetal outcome

M. Nyman, S. Arulkumaran, J. Jakobsson, M. Westgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Maternal perception of fetal movement in response to vibro-acoustic stimulation was compared with antenatal fetal heart rate monitoring as a test of fetal wellbeing in a population of gravidae with high-risk pregnancies (n = 517), admitted to the high-risk ward at Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institutet; a total of 2,015 tests were performed. The sensitivity and the specificity of the test compared to the fetal heart rate tracing was 81% and 89% respectively. If the test was performed within 24 hours of delivery, its predictive value for fetal asphyxia (i.e. a 5-minute Apgar score < 7) was 14% (7/49). Ten per cent of the patients felt no fetal movement in response to stimulation (irrespective of gestational age). In five cases where fetal heart rate tracings were pathological, stimulation nonetheless produced fetal movement and fetal outcome was good. Pathological heart rate tracings and no fetal movement in response to stimulation were present in 30 cases (out of 251 with no fetal movements at stimulation), in seven of which the infants had 5-minute Apgar scores < 7. Although many patients underwent repeated vibroacoustic stimulation, there was no evidence of fetal habituation to the test. On 24 occasions (i.e. 1.2%), the patient denied vibro-acoustic stimulation, mostly because of previous discomfort due to vigorous fetal response. Where resources are limited, maternal perception of fetal movements in response to vibro-acoustic stimulation might be a useful alternative for preliminary screening of high-risk pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Volume20
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992

Keywords

  • Fetal asphyxia
  • Fetal heart rate
  • Fetal movements
  • Vibro-acoustic stimulation

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