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Am J Perinatol. 2005 Jan;22(1):19-23.

Predictive value of late decelerations for fetal acidemia in unselective low-risk pregnancies.

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Perinatal Center and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Miyazaki Medical College, University of Miyazaki, Kihara, Kiyotake, Miyazaki, Japan.


We evaluated the clinical significance of late decelerations (LD) of intrapartum fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring to detect low pH (< 7.1) in low-risk pregnancies. We selected two secondary and two tertiary-level institutions where 10,030 women delivered. Among them, 5522 were low-risk pregnancies. The last 2 hours of FHR patterns before delivery were interpreted according to the guidelines of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The correlation between the incidence of LD (occasional, < 50%; recurrent, > or = 50%) and severity (reduced baseline FHR accelerations and variability) of LD, and low pH (< 7.1) were evaluated. Statistical analyses included a contingency table with chi2 and the Fisher test, and one-way analysis of variance with the Bonferroni/Dunn test. In the 5522 low-risk pregnancies, 301 showed occasional LD and 99 showed recurrent LD. Blood gases and pH values deteriorated as the incidence of LD increased and as baseline accelerations or variability was decreased. Positive predictive value for low pH (< 7.1) was exponentially elevated from 0% at no deceleration, 1% in occasional LD, and > 50% in recurrent LD with no baseline FHR accelerations and reduced variability. In low-risk pregnancies, information on LD combined with acceleration and baseline variability enables us to predict the potential incidence of fetal acidemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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