Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine

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Early Embryonic Heart Rate in Normal Pregnancies In Memory of Late Prof. A. Akinrimisi

G O Ajayi


To determine the appearance and development of embryonic heart rate a total of n = 317 Nigerian pregnant women were studied in the very early pregnancy from 23 – 56 days from the onset of last menstrual period (LMP). All pregnancies had a subsequent successful outcome. Transvaginal ultrasonography was performed using Kretz Combison with a 5MHZ probe. Embryonic heart rate was determined by M-mode.
No embryonic heart rate was detected prior to 32 days of gestation from the onset of last menstrual period (LMP). At 33 days one of 31 (3.2%) pregnancies showed cardiac activity and by 36days 18 out of 21 (85.8) pregnancies had cardiac activity.
By day 37 all pregnancies showed embryonic cardiac activity using the LMP. From days 33 to 56, mean embryonic cardiac activity rose from 84 at day 33 to 173.9 bear per minutes.
This study shows that embryonic cardiac activity is first dominant at day 33 and would be visible by day 37 during normal pregnancy.

NQJHM Vol. 13 (3-4) 2003: pp. 31-33

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