Objective We evaluated electronic fetal (heart rate) monitoring (EFM) patterns among very preterm infants with and without intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) to evaluate the test characteristics of EFM for the prediction of IVH. Study Design We performed a case-control study of preterm infants born ≤ 30 weeks' gestation over a 6-year period. We evaluated differences in EFM patterns between those (cases) with and without IVH (controls). The relative odds ratio of observing differences in EFM patterns between cases and controls was calculated. Regression models were adjusted based on confounding variables. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of EFM characteristics were evaluated for the diagnosis of IVH. Results Total 79 very preterm infants underwent cranial ultrasound, 24 of whom had IVH. Infants with IVH were more likely to be males and delivered at earlier gestational ages. Moderate variability was seen in all infants with normal cranial ultrasounds and 83% of infants with IVH. Minimal variability has a sensitivity of 17% in the prediction of IVH. Conclusion While minimal variability was observed more frequently in fetuses that developed IVH, it is poorly predictive of IVH. EFM patterns are not discriminating in identifying very preterm infants at risk for developing IVH.
- electronic fetal monitoring
- intraventricular hemorrhage