A systematic review on the utility of non-invasive electrophysiological assessment in evaluating for intra uterine growth restriction

Vinayak Smith, Amrish Nair, Ritesh Warty, Joel Arun Sursas, Fabricio Da Silva Costa, Euan Morrison Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Non-invasive electrophysiological assessment (NIEA) is an evolving area in fetal surveillance and is attracting increasing research interest. There is however, limited data outlining its utility in evaluating intra uterine growth restriction (IUGR). The objective of this study was to carry out a systematic review to outline the utility of NIEA parameters in evaluating IUGR. Methods: A systematic review of peer reviewed literature was performed, searching PUBMED, Ovid MEDLINE and EMBASE. The outcomes of interest included NIEA parameters [P wave duration, PR interval, QRS duration, QT interval, T/QRS ratio, short term variability (STV) and long term variability (LTV)] and a descriptive summary of relevant studies as well. Results: Sixteen studies were identified as suitable for inclusion. The utility of NIEA parameters were investigated in tabular form. In particular, QRS and QT duration, T/QRS ratio, STV and PRSA analysis displayed utility and merit further consideration in evaluating for IUGR. Issues identified in the review were in relation to variances in definition of IUGR, small sample sizes and the lack of technological consistency across studies. Conclusion: NIEA shows promise as an adjunct surveillance tool in fetal diagnostics for IUGR. Larger prospective studies should be directed towards establishing reliable parameters with a focus on uniformity of IUGR definition, technological consistency and the individualisation of NIEA parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number230
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2019


  • Cardiac time intervals
  • Fetal electrocardiogram
  • Fetal magnetocardiogram
  • Intra uterine growth restriction
  • Long term variability
  • PRSA
  • Short term variability

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