Reliability of admission cardiotocography for intrapartum monitoring in low resource setting

  • Hafizur Rahman
  • Prachi Renjhen
  • Sudip Dutta


Background To evaluate the role of admission cardiotocography in intrapartum patients in detecting fetal hypoxia already present and to correlate the results of admission cardiotocography with perinatal outcome. Materials and Methods: It was a cross‑sectional study conducted in the Labor and Maternity ward during the period 2007‑2009. The study included 176 pregnant women (both high risk and low risk), admitted to the emergency department or through the outpatient department with period of gestation ≥36 weeks, in first stage of labor with fetus in cephalic presentation. All of them were subjected to an admission test, a 20 min recording of fetal heart rate and uterine contractions on cardiotocograph machine at the time of admission. Results: The results of the admission test were ‘reactive’ in 82.38%, ‘equivocal’ in 10.22%, and ‘ominous’ in 7.38% women. Women with the reactive admission test had low risk of intrapartum fetal distress (6.9%) as compared to 39.9% in the equivocal and 84.6% in the ominous group (P < 0.001). Incidence of moderate to thick meconium stained liqor were more in ominous (61.5%) and equivocal group (33.3%) in compared to reactive group (4.8%) (P < 0.001). Incidence of NICU admission was also significantly high (62%) in babies delivered from mother with ominous test group compared to those with equivocal (28%) and reactive test (3.45%) group babies. Neonatal mortality was also seen in babies born to mothers with equivocal (5.5%) and ominous (7.6%) admission test groups. Operative delivery for fetal distress was required in only 5.5% (8 of 145) woman of the reactive group, in 27.8% (5 of 18) woman of the equivocal group and in 84.6% (11 of 13) women of the ominous group. Conclusion: The admission cardiotocography is a simple non‑invasive test that can serve as screening tool to detect fetal distress already present or likely to develop and prevent unnecessary delay in intervention. The test has high specificity and can help in ‘triaging’ fetuses in obstetric wards of developing countries with a heavy workload and limited resources.

Keywords: Admission test, cardiotocograph, fetal distress, fetal hypoxia, perinatal outcome

Nigerian Medical Journal | Vol. 53 | Issue 3 | July-September | 2012

Author Biographies

Hafizur Rahman
Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Gangtok, Sikkim, India
Prachi Renjhen
Obstetrics and Gynecology, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Melaka, Malaysia
Sudip Dutta
Pediatrics, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2229-774X
print ISSN: 0300-1652