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Findings With Unspecified Accuracy

Fetal Acidosis: Sensitivity and Specificity

Introduction: Intrapartum fetal acidosis, usually secondary to hypoxia, is an indication for immediate delivery of the fetus. Thus, this is the motivation for the current use of continuous fetal heart rate monitoring during labor.

While it is somewhat difficult to actually find the data for sensitivity and specificity of findings on the FHR monitors (many of the studies are from the 70s), I did find the following PPVs from one study. Note that the overall utility of continuous FHR monitoring is at best unclear, and there may be none.

Obstet Gynecol. 1975 Oct;46(4):392-6. PMID: 241036

  • No accels or decels - PPV for normal pH (>7.25) 90.5%
  • Accels - PPV normal pH 97.4%
  • Early decels - PPV normal pH 93%
  • Variable decels - PPV normal pH 76.7%
  • Late decels - PPV normal pH 66.6%
  • FHR 120-160bpm - PPV normal pH 92%
  • FHR >160bpm - PPV normal pH 80%
  • FHR <120bpm - PPV normal pH 70%
  • Beat-to-beat variability was not analyzed in this study.

    Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Mar;188(3):820-3. PMID: 12634664

  • Normal variability - PPV normal pH >=7.0 97%
  • Decreased variability - PPV normal pH 78%
  • Decreased variability + var decels - PPV normal pH 87.5%
  • J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2006 May;19(5):289-94 PMID: 16753769

  • Normal variability - PPV normal pH >7.2 or Apgar>7 98%
  • Decreased/absent variability + decels - PPV normal pH 77%
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    Tags: Obstetrical Pediatrics Tag this Diagnosis.

    The sensitivity and specificity of findings for Fetal Acidosis are listed below. See the left navigation bar to change the display.

    Findings With Unspecified Accuracy

    Finding SensitivitySpecificity Comments, Study
    Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring Edit No accuracy specified.

    see text above

    Study: no study specified.