Is there a relationship between fetal brain function and the fetal behavioral state? A fetal MEG-study

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Aim:Fetal magnetography enables the recording of biomagnetic fetal signals, including fetal heart and fetal brain signals. These signals allow the determination of fetal behavioral states and functional brain signals with auditory evoked responses (AER). In the current study, we investigated how the behavioral state influences the AER and how stimulation affects fetal state.Methods:One hundred and four fetuses in three age groups (28–31 weeks, 32–35 weeks and 36–41 weeks) were recorded with and without auditory stimulation. Both sessions were scored for fetal states. The AER latency was determined for each state separately. Forty-five additional subjects were recorded with two sessions of 10 min without stimulation to investigate a possible time effect on state changes.Results:The state distribution was significantly different between stimulation and no stimulation conditions. The AER latencies were significantly shorter in active sleep (P=0.013) and active wakefulness (P=0.004) compared to quiet sleep.Conclusion:Auditory stimulation has an effect on fetal states. The state information should be taken into account for the analysis of AER latencies.

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