Antenatal Fetal Assessment: Contraction Stress Test, Nonstress Test, Vibroacoustic Stimulation, Amniotic Fluid Volume, Biophysical Profile, and Modified Biophysical Profile-An Overview

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

18 Scopus citations


Antenatal fetal assessment was introduced into the United States in the 1970s. The initial antepartum test, the oxytocin challenge test, later renamed as the contraction stress test, became the gold standard for fetal surveillance. Its labor intensive requirements and contraindications made it inapplicable to some high-risk pregnancies. Other testing schemes were developed subsequently, the nonstress test and its alternative, vibroacoustic stimulation, the semiquantitative assessment of amniotic fluid volume, the biophysical profile and its modified version, the modified biophysical profile. This article is a brief critical review of these testing methods and focuses on the following: (1) physiologic bases; (2) testing methodologies; (3) supportive evidence from randomized controlled and observational trials; and (4) areas needing further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Perinatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008



  • amniotic fluid
  • antepartum testing
  • biophysical profile
  • contraction stress test
  • nonstress test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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