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Isr J Med Sci. 1988 Jan;24(1):5-9.

Reduction or cessation of fetal movements after administration of steroids for enhancement of lung maturation. I. Clinical evaluation.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Soroka University Hospital, Beer Sheva, Israel.


Changes in fetal activity ranging from reduction to cessation of fetal movements were observed in patients at the 25th to 34th week of gestation, who were receiving steroids for enhancement of fetal lung maturation. This was a transient phenomenon, and fetal movements returned to normal by 24 h after the last injection of steroids. Concomitantly, during the period of exposure to steroids, we found an increased incidence of nonreactive monitoring patterns on daily analysis of fetal heart monitoring tracing. Although the pathophysiology of these changes is still unclear, we believe that the practical value of this observation is of importance. Reduction or cessation of fetal movements and a nonreactive nonstress test are generally accepted signs of fetal compromise and considered as an indication for termination of pregnancy. In this selective group of patients this is a temporary phenomenon; therefore, conservative management would seem in order.

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