Circadian changes and sex-related differences in fetal heart rate parameters

Kapaya, Habiba, Broughton Pipkin, Fiona, Hayes-Gill, Barrie and Loughna, Pamela V. (2016) Circadian changes and sex-related differences in fetal heart rate parameters. Maternal Health, Neonatology and Perinatology, 2 (1). p. 9. ISSN 2054-958X

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BACKGROUND: Previous researchers have studied circadian changes in the fetal heart rate (FHR) on small sample sizes and in a strictly controlled environment. This study was undertaken to investigate these changes during the late second and third trimesters, using a portable fetal electrocardiogram recording device (Monica AN24) in pregnant women in home and hospital environments with unrestricted mobility.

METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study of 54 pregnant women with uncomplicated singleton pregnancies between 25 and 40 weeks gestation. FHR recordings were made up to 16 h at home or in the hospital setting in the United Kingdom. FHR data over 90 min periods were averaged and the day (7:00 am-11:00 pm) and night (11:00 pm-7:00 am) data from the same individual were compared. Data were examined for evidence of sex-related differences.

RESULTS: During the night, there was a significant reduction in basal heart rate (bFHR) and a significant increase in short term variation (STV) and long term variation (LTV) (P < 0.05). Basal FHR decreased (P < 0.002), whereas LTV increased (P = 0.014) with advancing gestation. Male fetuses showed greater day: night variation than females regardless of gestation (P = 0.014). There was a higher bFHR in fetuses monitored during the day in hospital (P = 0.04).

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that there are sex-, environment and time-related differences in the FHR parameters measured. These differences may need to be considered taken when interpreting FHR data.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Circadian, Fetal heart rate, Fetal heart rate monitoring, Electronic fetal monitoring, Fetal electrocardiogram, Fetal sex, Pregnancy
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Child Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Broughton_Pipkin, Professor Fiona
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2017 08:22
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2017 10:03

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