Study: ECGs for Maternal and Fetal Heart Rate Evaluations

In the last two months of a high-risk pregnancy, this technique can help determine whether the unborn foal is healthy.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Using a fetomaternal electrocardiogram (ECG, a noninvasive way to measure electrical changes in the heart) to monitor the fetal heart rate in the last two months of a high-risk pregnancy can help determine whether the unborn foal is healthy, according to Christina Nagel, MSc, PhD, at the Graf Lehndorff Institute for Equine Science in Neustadt, Germany. Using that technology, Nagel et al. recently completed a study in which they examined heart rate and heart rate variability in the pregnant mare and her fetus.

"In contrast to other methods (of monitoring the pregnancy, such as transrectal palpation or transabdominal ultrasonography), which show only a short period, the fetal ECG can be used for long-term monitoring so that it is possible to get a good evaluation of the fetal well-being," Nagel explained.

Fetomaternal ECGs were first evaluated in 2010 as a fetal monitoring tool. In the current study Nagel et al. aimed to determine the normal values in heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV, the slight changes in heart rate from beat to beat) of the pregnant mare and her fetus, and to detect physiological changes during ongoing gestation.

Nagel and her team monitored seven Warmblood broodmares (aged 5 to 20 years) and their fetuses during the last two months of pregnancy and parturition (labor) with ECG equipment to gain a better understanding of how the two cardiovascular systems function together

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What do you think: Can pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) be managed by medication alone?
159 votes · 159 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!