|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
To compare fetal heart rate (HR) response to the mother's voice in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia with those of fetuses in uneventful, normotensive pregnancies.Fifty fetuses (n = 22, preeclampsia; n = 28, uneventful, normotensive pregnancies) between 32 and 40 weeks gestational age were recruited. Each fetus was presented with a 2-min no-sound baseline period followed by a 2-min voice period during which an audio recording of his/her mother reading a story was played through a loud speaker over the maternal abdomen at an average of 95 dBA followed by a 2-min no-voice offset period. HR was recorded continuously.Fetuses in the preeclamptic group showed no response to the mother's voice when it was played. In comparison, fetuses in the uneventful, normotensive group responded to the mother's voice with a HR increase.Fetuses in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia show atypical auditory processing of the mother's voice. Such atypical responding may reflect a delay in auditory system maturation, functional elevation of sensorineural threshold, or decreased thyroid hormone.