Changes in fetal heart rate and uterine patterns associated with uterine rupture

Eyal Sheiner, Amalia Levy, Keren Ofir, Amnon Hadar, Ilana Shoham-Vardi, Mordechai Hallak, Miriam Katz, Moshe Mazor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine changes in fetal heart rate (FHR) and uterine patterns preceding complete uterine rupture. STUDY DESIGN: FHR and uterine patterns of 50 women with uterine rupture were compared with 601 tracings of controls without scarred uteri. Tracings were interpreted using the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Research Planning Workshop guidelines. RESULTS: Interobserver and intraobserver agreements of FHR and uterine tracings in the uterine rupture group were excellent (κ of .96 for both variables). Comparing tracing patterns during the first stage, higher rates of severe fetal bradycardia (4.0% vs. 1.0%, P = .064), fetal tachycardia (8.0% vs. 2.3%, P = .042), reduced baseline variability (24.0% vs. 12.5%, P = .021), uterine tachysystole (10.0% vs. 0.8%, P < .001) and disappearance of contractions (6.0% vs. 0, P < .001) were noted among patients with uterine rupture as compared to the controls. During the second stage of labor, patients with uterine rupture had significantly higher rates of reduced baseline variability (47.8% vs. 7.7%, P < .001), severe variable decelerations (26.1% vs. 6.4%, P = .004), uterine tachysystole (22.0% vs. 0.5%, P < .001) and disappearance of contractions (13.0% vs. 0, P < .001). Using a backward, stepwise multiple logistic regression model, severe fetal bradycardia (OR = 8.2, 95% CI 2.2-31.0, P = .002) and uterine tachysystole (OR = 8.0, 95% CI 1.7-37.9, P = .008) were found to be independent patterns preceding uterine rupture during the first stage of labor. Likewise, during the second stage, reduced baseline variability (OR = 4.2, 95% CI 1.4-12.3, P = .009) and uterine tachysystole (OR = 42.3, 95% CI 10.6-168.3, P < .001) were independently associated with uterine rupture in another multivariable analysis. CONCLUSION: Abnormal monitor patterns among women presenting with risk factors for uterine rupture, specifically uterine tachysystole, reduced baseline variability and severe bradycardia, should act as warning signs to the obstetrician.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-378
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of reproductive medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetal heart rate
  • Labor complications
  • Uterine rupture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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