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Human fetal breathing: Associated changes in heart rate and beat-to-beat variability

  • M.Y. Divon
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Southern California School of Medicine Los Angeles, California, USA

    Women's Hospital, Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center Los Angeles, California, USA

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology “B,” Rambam Medical Center Haifa, Israel.
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  • E.Z. Zimmer
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Southern California School of Medicine Los Angeles, California, USA

    Women's Hospital, Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center Los Angeles, California, USA

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology “B,” Rambam Medical Center Haifa, Israel.
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  • L.D. Platt
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Lawrence D. Platt, M.D., Women's Hospital, Room 5K9, 1240 North Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA 90033.
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Southern California School of Medicine Los Angeles, California, USA

    Women's Hospital, Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center Los Angeles, California, USA

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology “B,” Rambam Medical Center Haifa, Israel.
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  • E. Paldi
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Southern California School of Medicine Los Angeles, California, USA

    Women's Hospital, Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center Los Angeles, California, USA

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology “B,” Rambam Medical Center Haifa, Israel.
    Search for articles by this author
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      Abstract

      A computerized quantification of fetal heart rate and beat-to-beat variability was performed during and between fetal breathing episodes. Sixteen healthy pregnant women at term participated in the study. The results indicate that fetal breathing is associated with a significant increase in beat-to-beat variability (from 4.48 ± 1.66 between breathing episodes to 5.80 ± 2.04 during breathing episodes, p < 0.01) and a small but significant decrease in fetal heart rate (from 142.7 ± 8.6 bpm between breathing episodes to 140.4 ± 8.6 bpm during breathing episodes, p < 0.05).

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