Foetal heart rate power spectrum response to uterine contraction

M. Romano, P. Bifulco, M. Cesarelli, M. Sansone, M. Bracale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiotocography is the most diffused prenatal diagnostic technique in clinical routine. The simultaneous recording of foetal heart rate (FHR) and uterine contractions (UC) provides useful information about foetal well-being during pregnancy and labour. However, foetal electronic monitoring interpretation still lacks reproducibility and objectivity. New methods of interpretation and new parameters can further support physicians' decisions. Besides common time-domain analysis, study of the variability of FHR can potentially reveal autonomic nervous system activity of the foetus. In particular, it is clinically relevant to investigate foetal reactions to UC to diagnose foetal distress early. Uterine contraction being a strong stimulus for the foetus and its autonomic nervous system, it is worth exploring the FHR variability response. This study aims to analyse modifications of the power spectrum of FHR variability corresponding to UC. Cardiotocographic signal tracts corresponding to 127 UC relative to 30 healthy foetuses were analysed. Results mainly show a general, statistically significant (t test, p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-201
Number of pages14
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • Cardiotocography
  • Foetal heart rate variability
  • Uterine contractions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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