Fetal tachyarrhythmia associated with vibroacoustic stimulation

Obstet Gynecol. 2003 May;101(5 Pt 2):1116-8. doi: 10.1016/s0029-7844(03)00081-4.


Background: Vibroacoustic stimulation is commonly used in antepartum fetal testing and has known benefits. Although the procedure has been deemed safe, questions have been raised as to potentially adverse effects, and the adult cardiology literature identifies a link between abrupt sound stimulation and severe tachyarrhythmias.

Case: A fetus with premature atrial contractions converted to supraventricular tachycardia immediately after vibroacoustic stimulation. The tachyarrhythmia spontaneously reverted to baseline after 4 minutes. The infant was treated for junctional reentry tachycardia at birth.

Conclusion: Although the cardiac effects of vibroacoustic stimulation have previously been characterized as benign, the use of this modality may warrant restriction in the setting of known fetal arrhythmias.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / adverse effects*
  • Adult
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Fetal Diseases / etiology*
  • Fetal Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / etiology*
  • Vibration / adverse effects*