New Study Helps Optimize Fetal Delivery Timing

October 04, 2013

October 4, 2013

­­­Christoph Lees, MD of Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital in London, recently conducted a clinical study entitled “Trial of Randomized Umbilical and Fetal Flow in Europe (TRUFFLE)” with a team of researchers to determine the best timing of delivery in preterm pregnancies complicated by poor fetal growth.

The analysis included pregnant women of less than 32 weeks whose babies were smaller than would be expected.  A standardized prenatal monitoring and delivery protocol was used for all women in the trial. A comparison of delivery times for three patient groups was done. The first group’s time was based on the baby’s heart rate, while the remaining two were based on changes in the Doppler ultrasound measurement of the baby’s blood vessel.

Preliminary results of the study, which was performed in 20 European centers, showed better than expected health outcomes in this high-risk group of fetuses at a reported 70% survival rate without severe health problems. The trial also showed that women with hypertension experienced an increased risk of having babies who died before or after birth, or would develop health issues.

The timing of delivery plays a very important role for babies with fetal growth restriction. An early delivery could expose the baby to risks associated with immature births, while a late delivery risks other serious problems to develop due to lack of nourishment and oxygen in the womb.

"Although the effects of the different fetal monitoring practices on long-term neurodevelopment are not yet known, these management protocols would help effect a reduction in perinatal mortality and short term morbidity in pregnancies complicated by severe, early-onset fetal growth restriction," said Dr. Lees. "This is the largest prospective study of outcomes in pregnancies complicated by severe, early-onset fetal growth restriction showing that, at least in part, a standardized antenatal management protocol was responsible for the improved neonatal outcomes," said co-author Basky Thilaganathan, MD, PhD, and Editor-in-Chief of Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

As advancements in fetal care continue to arise, it is important for medical practitioners to keep their fetal monitoring systems maintained and up-to-date. AIV offers accessories and repair services for fetal monitoring equipment. Browse through AIV’s full line of accessories and services at

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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