Fetal short time variation during labor: a non-invasive alternative to fetal scalp pH measurements?

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To determine whether short time variation (STV) of fetal heart beat correlates with scalp pH measurements during labor.

Patients and methods

From 1279 deliveries, 197 women had at least one fetal scalp pH measurement. Using the CTG-Player®, STVs were calculated from the electronically saved cardiotocography (CTG) traces and related to the fetal scalp pH measurements.


There was no correlation between STV and fetal scalp pH measurements (r = −0.0592).


Fetal STV is an important parameter with high sensitivity for antenatal fetal acidosis. This study shows that STV calculations do not correlate with fetal scalp pH measurements during labor, hence are not helpful in identifying fetal acidosis.

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