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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2001 Oct;98(2):160-4.

Effect of epidural analgesia on the fetal heart rate.

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Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Isola Tiberina 39, 00186 Rome, Italy.


Fetal heart rate (FHR) changes occasionally follow the use of labor epidurals. Most studies of the phenomenon have focused on specific techniques, but similar timing and appearance suggest a common cause. Induction of analgesia may transiently alter the balance between factors encouraging and inhibiting uterine contractions with subsequent changes of FHR patterns. Regardless the etiology, these changes are transient and do not produce maternal or fetal morbidity. However, they must be promptly recognized and treated if necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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