Abnormal fetal heart rate tracing patterns during the first stage of labor: Effect on perinatal outcome Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate perinatal outcomes of infants who had pathologic fetal heart rate tracings during the first stage of labor, in comparison with pregnancies with normal tracings. Study Design: The perinatal outcomes of 301 infants born at 37 to 42 weeks of gestation with pathologic fetal heart rate patterns during the first stage of labor were compared with 300 infants with normal fetal heart rate tracing patterns. The data were collected prospectively. Tracings were interpreted with the use of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development fetal heart rate monitor guidelines. Results: Hydramnios (odds ratio, 7.68; 95% CI, 1.75%-33.63%), oligohydramnios (odds ratio, 2.74; 95% CI, 1.01%-7.39%), and the presence of meconium-stained amniotic fluid (odds ratio, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.03%-3.3%) were independent factors that were associated with pathologic fetal heart rate monitoring during the first stage of labor in a multivariable analysis. The occurrences of umbilical arterial pH of <7.20, a 1-minute Apgar score of <7, a base deficit of 12 mmol/L or higher, and operative deliveries were significantly higher in the study group as compared with subjects with normal fetal heart rate monitoring. Late decelerations and severe variable decelerations (<70 bpm) during the first stage of labor were independent risk factors (odds ratio, 17.5; 95% CI, 1.61%-185.7% and odds ratio, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.36%-11.7%, respectively) that were associated with fetal acidosis (determined by both pH of <7.2 and a base deficit of 12 mmol/L or higher) in a multiple logistic model, controlled for hydramnios, oligohydramnios, meconium-stained amniotic fluid, augmentation by oxytocin, nulliparity, duration of first stage of labor, and birth weight. Conclusion: The operative delivery rate was higher among patients with abnormal first-stage fetal heart rate patterns. Late decelerations and severe variable decelerations were significant factors associated with fetal acidosis. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 2001;185: 863-8.)

publication date

  • January 1, 2001