Response of fetal heart rate to uterine contractions

N. S. Padhye, Z. Duan, M. T. Verklan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The heart rate variability of fetuses under stress from maternal uterine contractions conveys critical information to clinicians and also provides theoretical clues about heart rate regulatory mechanisms. According to the polyvagal theory [1, 2], the deceleration of fetal heart rate under stress is caused by the withdrawal of vagal tone. Recovery is mediated by its reestablishment An implication of this mechanism is that the respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) is elevated after the deceleration and subsequent recovery. Findings from our clinical data on fetuses support this theory. The data also indicate that in the instance of a late deceleration the RSA may not be elevated after recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3953-3955
Number of pages3
JournalAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings
Volume26 VI
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventConference Proceedings - 26th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2004 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Sep 1 2004Sep 5 2004


  • Fetus
  • Heart rate variability
  • RR-series
  • Spectral analysis
  • Time-frequency
  • Wavelets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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