Aims: The development of fetal heart rate (FHR) variability and acceleration, and their loss in the hypoxic brain damage and cerebral palsy (CP) is investigated.
Methods: FHR, movements in physiologic sinusoidal FHR and fetal movements were studied by actocardiogram.
Results: Periodic fetal respiratory movements evoked moderate FHR variation similar to medium variability. Small fetal movements provoked FHR variability, and large fetal movement burst developed the acceleration. The brain centers should be midbrain for variability and acceleration. FHR variability and acceleration develop by the reaction of fetal brain to fetal movements. As severe organic fetal brain damage could develop through fetal hypoxia in the loss of variability, early delivery before the loss of variability will prevent infantile CP. As the abnormal FHR would be developed by fetal brain damage in non-hypoxic fetal insults, early delivery before the loss of variability could also prevent the brain damage in viral and bacterial infections.