Noninvasive fetal electrocardiography following intermittent umbilical cord occlusion in the preterm ovine fetus
Article first published online: 8 FEB 2010
© 2010 The Authors Journal compilation © RCOG 2010 BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Volume 117, Issue 4, pages 438–444, March 2010
How to Cite
Cleal, J., Thomas, M., Hanson, M., Paterson-Brown, S., Gardiner, H. and Green, L. (2010), Noninvasive fetal electrocardiography following intermittent umbilical cord occlusion in the preterm ovine fetus. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 117: 438–444. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2009.02471.x
- Issue published online: 8 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 8 FEB 2010
- Accepted 16 November 2009.
- Cord occlusion;
Please cite this paper as: Cleal J, Thomas M, Hanson M, Paterson-Brown S, Gardiner H, Green L. Noninvasive fetal electrocardiography following intermittent umbilical cord occlusion in the preterm ovine fetus. BJOG 2010;117:438–444.
Objective To investigate whether a noninvasive fetal electrocardiography (fECG) system can identify cardiovascular responses to fetal hypoxaemia and validate the results using standard invasive fECG monitoring techniques.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Setting Biological research facilities at The University of Southampton.
Population or Sample Late gestation ovine fetuses; n = 5.
Methods Five fetal lambs underwent implantation of vascular catheters, umbilical cord occluder and invasive ECG chest electrodes under general anaesthesia (3% halothane/O2) at 119 days of gestation (term ∼147 days of gestation). After 5 days of recovery blood pressure, blood gases, glucose and pH were monitored. At 124 and 125 days of gestation following a 10-minute baseline period a 90-second cord occlusion was applied. Noninvasive fetal ECG was recorded from maternal transabdominal electrodes using advanced signal-processing techniques, concurrently with invasive fECG recordings.
Main outcome measures Comparison of T:QRS ratios of the ECG waveform from noninvasive and invasive fECG monitoring systems.
Results Our fECG monitoring system is able to demonstrate changes in waveforms during periods of hypoxaemia similar to those obtained invasively, which could indicate fetal distress.
Conclusions These findings may indicate a future use for noninvasive electrocardiography during human fetal monitoring both before and during labour in term and preterm pregnancies.