The nonstress test and the nipple stimulation contraction stress test were performed at the Medical College of Georgia and the University of Mississippi Medical Center, with the use of common maternal state protocols, minimum criteria for baseline fetal heart rate reactivity, and follow-up of abnormal test results. At the Medical College of Georgia, 656 patients were studied with nonstress tests used as the primary test, whereas at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, 614 patients were managed with the nipple stimulation contraction stress stest used as the primary test. Both populations were comparable in regard to pregnancy complications, gestational age, birth weight, perinatal outcomes, cesarean section rates, and the incidence of positive contraction stress tests. Specificity and positive and negative predictive values were similar for both tests. The extended nonstress test had higher sensitivity but also required significantly longer mean duration of testing. The corrected perinatal mortality rate for a reactive nonstress test or negative nipple stimulation contraction stress test was zero within one week of the last test. We conclude that both tests provide excellent primary methods of fetal surveillance and that the decision to use one test rather than the other should be made on the basis of considerations of cost, convenience, time availability, and the presence of specific test contraindications or pregnancy complications.
- Nonstress test
- nipple stimulation contraction stress test
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology