Does Doppler-detected fetal movement decrease the incidence of nonreactive nonstress tests?

Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Dec;82(6):999-1003.


Objective: To determine whether a decreased incidence of nonreactive nonstress tests (NSTs) in antepartum testing was attributable to the addition of fetal movement detection to the standard NST.

Methods: Monitors with standard fetal heart rate recording capabilities were used, as were new monitors producing a Doppler-detected recording of fetal movement (NST-fetal movement). Cross-sectional retrospective analysis of NST results was carried out by chi 2.

Results: Comparison of the 10-month period before fetal movement detection to the 10 months including NST-fetal movement monitoring showed a significant decrease in nonreactive NSTs from 5.7% to 3.3% (chi 2 = 61.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.97-0.98). This reduction in nonreactive tests disappeared (3.3% to 5.1%) when the NST-fetal movement-capable monitors were no longer available (chi 2 = 24.2, 95% CI 1.01-1.03).

Conclusions: Nonreactive NSTs decreased by 58% with the introduction of fetal movement monitoring in our antepartum testing center and increased when the NST-fetal movement-capable monitors were removed. A reduced incidence of nonreactive NSTs associated with NST-Doppler-detected fetal movements should effect a savings in both time and resources.

MeSH terms

  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fetal Monitoring / methods*
  • Fetal Movement / physiology*
  • Heart Rate, Fetal / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*