Effects of maternal hyperoxia on the biophysical assessment of fetuses with suspected intrauterine growth retardation

David A. Ruedrich, Lawrence D. Devoe, Nancy Searle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Fifty-two third-trimester fetuses with suspected intrauterine growth retardation were studied by means of a computer-assisted biophysical assessment scheme, which used maternal hyperoxia as a diagnostic probe. Biophysical data examined included percentage of time spent in breathing, mean breath rate, and percentage of time spent in body movement during a 90-minute observation: 30-minute baseline, 15-minute hyperoxia, and 45-minute posthyperoxia. Mean baseline movement in fetuses found as neonates to have intrauterine growth retardation (N = 18) was significantly lower than that of normal fetuses (N = 34). Fetal body movements and breathing movements increased significantly after hyperoxia in the intrauterine growth retardation group but not in the normal group. Increases of more than 75% over baseline for fetal breathing and more than 250% over baseline for fetal body movements yielded a sensitivity of 56%, specificity of 94%, positive predicative value of 83%, and negative predicative value of 80%. Maternal hyperoxia during biophysical testing may improve the accuracy of detecting intrauterine growth retardation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-192
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1989



  • Intrauterine growth retardation
  • fetal breathing
  • fetal movement
  • maternal hyperoxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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