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Intrapartum fetal heart rate and sudden infant death syndrome

  • Toke Hoppenbrouwers
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Toke Hoppenbrouwers, Ph.D., Director, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Research Project, Room 4L4OB, Women's Hospital, LAC/USC Medical Center, 1240 Mission Rd., Los Angeles, California 90033.
    Affiliations
    Newborn Division of the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Bernardino Zanini
    Affiliations
    Newborn Division of the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Joan E. Hodgman
    Affiliations
    Newborn Division of the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA
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      Abstract

      The intrapartum fetal heart rate (FHR) tracings of 20 infants who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and 20 matched control infants, both drawn from a population at increased obstetrical risk, were compared. This is a blind retrospective study aimed at quantifying (a) the incidence of FHR patterns, (b) the range of FHR and variability levels, and (c) the episodes of variable and late decelerations occurring in conjunction with abnormal FHR levels. Tracings of SIDS infants were similar to those of control infants. Although the three infants with bradycardic FHR levels were restricted to the SIDS group, infants in this group could not be reliably differentiated from control infants on the basis of intrapartum FHR tracings.
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