Antepartum fetal heart rate testing, specifically the nonstress test, is of accepted value in the antenatal surveillance of high-risk pregnancies. Fetal rest-activity cycles coupled with arbitrary test intervals appear to lead to falsely nonreactive tests. Methods to alter fetal behavioral states have not been uniformly successful. A retrospective analysis of the adjunctive use of acoustic stimulation at our institution demonstrated a 50% reduction in the number of nonreactive tests. Consequently a prospective randomized clinical trial was undertaken to compare the standard nonstress test with the fetal acoustic stimulation test. Those patients randomized to the fetal acoustic stimulation test underwent transabdominal acoustic stimulation with a Model 5C electronic artificial larynx. The incidence of nonreactive tests was 14% in the control group and 9% in the study group (K2 = 11.09, p = 0.004). A significant reduction in testing time was also observed. The fetal acoustic stimulation test offers advantages over the traditional nonstress test by lowering the incidence of nonreactive tests and reducing testing time.
- Antepartum fetal heart rate testing
- fetal acoustic stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology