Quality of intrapartum cardiotocography in twin deliveries

P C A M Bakker, G J Colenbrander, A A Verstraeten, H P Van Geijn

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9 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Intrapartum fetal heart rate (FHR) recordings in twins were compared for fetal signal loss during both stages of labor to assess the quality of these recordings by the method that had been used: external ultrasound or directly via a scalp electrode.

STUDY DESIGN: Analysis of recordings collected between January 1, 1994, and January 1, 2002, from consecutive twin deliveries at the Vrije Universiteit Medical Center in Amsterdam. One hundred seventy-two twins that delivered via the vaginal route were included in the study. FHR recordings had a duration of at least 1 hour before the birth of the second twin. Subdivision took place on the basis of the recording technique, ie, ultrasound or scalp electrode. FHR data was obtained with HP-M1350 cardiotocographs. The status (pen on, pen off, maternal signal) and the mode of the signals were acquired. The duration of pen lifts and maternal signals was divided by the total duration of the recording. Statistical analyses were performed with the Mann-Whitney U test and the Wilcoxon signed ranks test.

RESULTS: Recordings obtained via ultrasound demonstrated significantly more fetal signal loss than those obtained via the direct mode, particularly in the second stage. Approximately 26% to 33% of first stage and 41% to 63% of second stage ultrasound intrapartum FHR recordings in twins exceeded the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) criteria for fetal signal loss.

CONCLUSION: Intrapartum FHR monitoring via ultrasound provides far poorer quality FHR signals than the direct mode. The direct mode deserves a more prominent position in fetal surveillance than it currently has.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2114-2119
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • Adult
  • Cardiotocography
  • Cohort Studies
  • Delivery, Obstetric/adverse effects
  • Female
  • Fetal Monitoring/methods
  • Gestational Age
  • Heart Rate, Fetal/physiology
  • Humans
  • Labor Stage, First
  • Labor Stage, Second
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy, Multiple
  • Probability
  • Quality Control
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Twins
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal

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