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Obstet Gynecol Surv. 1996 Aug;51(8):498-502.

Fetal oximetry monitoring: a new wonder or another mirage?

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kaplan Hospital, Rehovot, Israel.


This review provides recent data and clinical opinions on a new technology in assessing fetal well-being during labor, the fetal pulse oximeter. Fetal pulse oximetry is potentially superior to electronic fetal heart rate monitoring because it allows direct assessment of both fetal oxygen status and fetal tissue perfusion. Several studies during recent years have demonstrated that fetal pulse oximetry during labor is feasible and accurate. On the other hand, these very same studies have demonstrated a few potential disadvantages and limitations of fetal oximetry. The main limitation seems to be a wide range of normal values. The correlation of fetal oximetry during labor with perinatal outcome and long-term newborn outcome has not yet been determined. In summary, fetal pulse oximetry during labor merits further randomized prospective studies, especially with regard to improvement of perinatal outcome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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