Am J Perinatol 1998; 15(4): 273-276
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-993941

© 1998 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

The Fetal Admission Test and Intrapartum Fetal Death

Brad D. Golditch1 , Myoung Ock Ahn2 , Jeffrey P. Phelan3
  • 1Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Santa Clara, California
  • 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cha Woman's Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, Pomona, California
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
04 March 2008 (online)


Our objective was to describe the admission and subsequent intrapartum fetal heart rate (FHR) patterns in 21 singleton term pregnancies with an intrapartum fetal death. Through a retrospective chart review, 21 pregnancies with a term intrapartum fetal death were divided into 2 groups based on the fetal admission test (FAT): Group I-reactive (one or more FHR accelerations of 15 bpm × 15 sec in the first 30 min of monitoring); and Group II-nonreactive (NR [the absence of accelerations]). The FAT was compared with the subsequent intrapartum FHR pattern. Of the 21 deaths, the FAT was reactive in 7 fetuses (33%) or NR in 14 fetuses (67%). While the demographic features of these groups were statistically similar, Group II had higher rates of meconium (12 out of 14 (86%) vs. 2 out of 7 [29%] p = 0.017) and admission FHR decelerations (9 out of 14 (64%) vs. 1 out of 7 [14%] p = 0.06). In Group I, a sudden catastrophic event such as a uterine rupture produced a prolonged FHR deceleration in six fetuses (86%). One (14%) fetus died after a Hon pattern. In Group II, four patients had a stair steps to death pattern. Intrapartum fetal death can occur after a reactive or NR FAT. With a reactive FAT, a catastrophic event appears necessary to cause fetal death. The higher rates of meconium, FHR decelerations, and stair steps to death patterns in the NR group suggest the underlying basis for the fetal demise was related to preadmission fetal compromise.