Does Doppler-Detected Fetal Movement Decrease the Incidence of Nonreactive Nonstress Tests?

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To determine whether a decreased incidence of nonreactive nonstress tests (NSTs) in antepartum testing was attributable to the addition of fetal movement detection to the standard NST.


Monitors with standard fetal heart rate recording capabilities were used, as were new monitors producing a Doppler-detected recording of fetal movement (NST-fetal movement). Cross-sectional retrospective analysis of NST results was carried out by χ2.


Comparison of the 10-month period before fetal movement detection to the 10 months including NST-fetal movement monitoring showed a significant decrease in nonreactive NSTs from 5.7% to 3.3% (χ2= 61.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.97-0.98). This reduction in nonreactive tests disappeared (3.3% to 5.1%) when the NST-fetal movement-capable monitors were no longer available (χ2=24.2, 95% CI 1.01-1.03).


Nonreactive NSTs decreased by 58% with the introduction of fetal movement monitoring in our antepartum testing center and increased when the NST-fetal movement-capable monitors were removed. A reduced incidence of nonreactive NSTs associated with NST-Dopplerdetected fetal movements should effect a savings in both time and resources.

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