What is the significance of fetal bradycardia in patients with eclampsia?

Updated: Apr 18, 2019
  • Author: Michael G Ross, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Ronald M Ramus, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

After the initial bradycardia, during the recovery phase, the fetal heart rate tracing may reveal a loss of short- and long-term variability and the presence of late decelerations. These abnormalities are most likely due to the decrease in uterine blood flow caused by the intense vasospasm and uterine hyperactivity during the convulsion. If the fetal heart tracing does not improve following a seizure, further evaluation should be undertaken. Growth-restricted and preterm fetuses may take longer to recover following a seizure. Placental abruption may be present if uterine hyperactivity remains and fetal bradycardia persists.


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