Intrapartum cardiotocography patterns observed in suspected clinical and subclinical chorioamnionitis in term fetuses

Letizia Galli, Andrea Dall'Asta, Virginia Whelehan, Abigail Archer, Edwin Chandraharan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To evaluate the cardiotocography (CTG) features observed in suspected intrapartum chorioamnionitis in term fetuses according to the recently suggested criteria for the pathophysiological interpretation of the fetal heart rate and their correlation with perinatal outcomes. Methods: Retrospective analysis of nonconsecutive CTG traces. ‘CTG chorioamnionitis’ was diagnosed either based on a persistent rise in the baseline for the given gestation or on a persistent increase in the baseline fetal heart rate during labor >10% without preceding CTG signs of hypoxia and in the absence of maternal pyrexia. Perinatal outcomes were compared among cases with no sign of chorioamnionitis, in those with only CTG features suspicious for chorioamnionitis and in those who developed clinical chorioamnionitis. Results: Two thousand one hundred and five CTG traces were analyzed. Of these, 356 fulfilled the criteria for “CTG chorioamnionitis”. Higher rates of Apgar <7 at 1 and 5 min (21.6% vs 9.0% and 9.8% vs 2.0%, respectively, P < 0.01 for both) and lower umbilical artery pH (7.14 ± 0.11 vs 7.19 ± 0.11, P < 0.01) and an over fivefold higher rate of neonatal intensive care unit admission (16.6% vs 2.9%, P < 0.01) were noted in the ‘CTG chorioamnionitis’ group. Differences in the incidence of abnormal CTG patterns were noted between cases who eventually had clinical evidence of chorioamnionitis (89/356) and those showing CTG features suspicious for chorioamnionitis in the absence of clinical evidence of chorioamnionitis (267/356). Conclusion: Intrapartum CTG features of suspected chorioamnionitis are associated with adverse perinatal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2343-2350
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiotocography pathophysiology
  • fetal heart monitoring
  • fetal heart rate
  • inflammation
  • intrapartum fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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