Quantitative parameters of fetal heart rate (FHR) were automatically analysed at 20, 32 and 38 weeks of pregnancy. FHR was obtained both by the fetal ECG method and by wide range Doppler ultrasound with autocorrelation. At 32 and 38 weeks, FHR was studied in relation to fetal rest-activity according to the fetal behavioural state concept (coincidence 1F and 2F). Basal fetal heart rate was significantly higher at 20 weeks of gestation than at 32 and 38 weeks. The number of accelerations increased significantly from 20 weeks to 32 and 38 weeks for C2F periods. Parameters of FHR variability, i.e. ID, ABB, LTI indices and bandwidth, were higher during periods C2F compared to periods C1F. Lowest values of all four parameters were found at 20 weeks gestation. The ID index, which is a measure of short-term variability increased significantly between 32 to 38 (C2F). The absolute values of ID, ABB and LTI were lower for ultrasound recordings than for the fetal ECG. © 1992.
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