Cross-correlation of fetal cardiac and somatic activity as an indicator of antenatal neural development

Janet A. DiPietro, Rafael A. Irizarry, Melissa Hawkins, Kathleen A. Costigan, Eva K. Pressman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: In this study, we wanted to model the emergence of coupling between fetal cardiac and somatic activity in normal and at-risk fetuses. Study Design: One hundred six fetuses of uncomplicated pregnancies were longitudinally monitored at 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, and 38 weeks of gestation by using a fetal actocardiograph and computerized data collection. Twenty-six fetuses of complicated pregnancies were also included. Statistical time series analysis techniques were used to examine the relation between fetal movement and fetal heart rate. Results: A linear increase was found in the magnitude of the cross-correlation function between fetal movement and fetal heart rate as gestation advanced, with coalescence around a peak lag of 5 seconds by 32 weeks. Fetuses that delivered before term evidenced accelerated fetal movement and fetal heart rate coupling, whereas fetuses affected by deleterious conditions showed a decline in developmental trajectory. Conclusions: The cross-correlation between fetal cardiac and somatic activity is an indicator of neuroregulation in human fetuses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1428
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Volume185
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Keywords

  • Fetal heart rate
  • Fetal movement
  • Neurologic development
  • Preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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