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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1982 Sep 15;144(2):218-23.

Fetal heart rate accelerations and late decelerations during the course of intrauterine death in chronically catheterized rhesus monkeys.


The appearance of late decelerations and the disappearance of accelerations in the fetal heart rate were observed during the days that preceded intrauterine fetal death in nine chronically instrumented rhesus monkeys. All nine animals had recovered satisfactorily from the initial surgical procedure, as evidenced by normal biophysical and biochemical parameters. After recovery, all the fetuses had shown accelerations and no late decelerations with spontaneous uterine contractions. The mean duration of the preparations was 16.1 days. The duration of the preterminal observation period varied from 3 to 13 days, during which time no experiments were performed. The fetuses died during labor at a mean gestational age of 143 days. Late decelerations were the first sign of fetal deterioration and occurred with a slight but significant decrease in fetal PaO2 without changes in pH, whereas accelerations in fetal heart rate were still present. The loss of accelerations in fetal heart rate was a later phenomenon and was associated with significant reductions in fetal pH and PaO2.

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