THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF PRENATAL MOVEMENTS IN PREGNANCIES COMPLICATED BY INTRAUTERINE GROWTH-RETARDATION AND PREMATURE RUPTURE OF THE MEMBRANES

DA Sival, GHA VISSER, HFR PRECHTL

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    In 17 fetuses with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), we studied the quantity of general movements and fetal breathing movements both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. In IUGR fetuses, cross-sectional comparisons were made between the quantity of fetal movements and (1) the fetal clinical condition and (2) the quality of general movements. In addition, the quantity of fetal movements in IUGR was compared with that in uncomplicated pregnancies and in pregnancies complicated by premature rupture of the amniotic membranes. In IUGR, the quantity of general movements declined from 25 weeks gestation onwards, whereas the quantity of fetal breathing movements increased. Longitudinal assessment of these parameters was obtained in four cases and showed a decline of general movements. No relationship between prenatal longitudinal data and neonatal outcome could be observed. Relating the quantity of general movements and breathing movements to the fetal condition, growth retarded fetuses were divided into three groups according to fetal deterioration. 1. Normal amount of amniotic fluid and normal fetal heart rate patterns. 2. Reduced amount of amniotic fluid. 3. Abnormal fetal heart rate patterns. The quantity of general movements as well as that of breathing movements was low in group 3, compared to group 1. In group 2 only the quantity of breathing movements and not of general movements was low. A similar pattern was found in the relation with the quality of general movements observed during fetal deterioration. Cross-sectional analysis of median values (28-31 weeks gestation) did not reveal differences in the quantity of general movements when IUGR, normal pregnancies and premature rupture of the membranes (with or without oligohydramnios) were compared. The quantity of fetal breathing movements was significantly lower in pregnancies complicated by IUGR and by premature rupture of the membranes with oligohydramnios compared to those of normal pregnancies and premature rupture of the membranes without oligohydramnios. In uncomplicated IUGR, the quantity of general movements and breathing movements is in the same range as in normal uncomplicated pregnancies. Similar to the quality of general movements, the quantitative variables were related to the fetal condition. However, in contrast to the quality of general movements, the quantity of general movements and breathing movements showed a high inter- and intraindividual variation. Therefore, the results of this study discourage the use of quantitative aspects of general movements and breathing movements as reliable indicators of the neurological condition in the individual fetus.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-209
    Number of pages17
    JournalEarly Human Development
    Volume30
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Oct-1992

    Keywords

    • INTRAUTERINE GROWTH RETARDATION
    • FETAL MOVEMENTS
    • MOVEMENT QUALITY
    • PREMATURE RUPTURE OF THE MEMBRANES
    • FETAL HYPOXEMIA
    • HEART-RATE DECELERATIONS
    • RETARDED FETUSES
    • BEHAVIORAL STATES
    • URINE PRODUCTION
    • FETAL
    • STRESS
    • SHEEP

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