Objective: We compared a non-invasive fetal electrocardiogram (fECG) to Doppler cardiotocogram (CTG) during the 1st stage of labor.
Study design: This was a prospective observational study of non-invasive fECG using five abdominal electrodes and one Doppler ultrasound probe in 27 patients. Data were analyzed for reliability, clinical and statistical equivalence.
Results: The fECG was similar to the traditional Doppler method. The fECG characterizes a fetal heart rate (FHR) trace in a similar way with regards to acceleration count, decelerations count and coincidence, variability and baseline. The FHR was overall correlated (Pearson's r=0.91).
Conclusion: This non-invasive fECG presents an alternative, reliable and accurate assessment for fetal well-being during the 1st stage of labor.
©2010 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York