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Su LL, Chong YS
Correspondence: Dr Lin Lin Su, firstname.lastname@example.org
Antepartum foetal monitoring is crucial for the detection of foetuses at risk so that timely intervention can improve the perinatal outcome. The evidence underlying the most common modalities of antepartum foetal monitoring used are appraised and presented in this article. Foetal movement chart should be used in high-risk pregnancies but not recommended routinely in low-risk pregnancies. Symphysis-fundal height measurement, being associated with low cost and ease of use, is a reasonable screening tool for foetal well-being. Third trimester ultrasonography is, thus far, the best modality available for the assessment of foetal growth, and can be used until a better modality for foetal growth assessment becomes available. Antepartum cardiotocography can be used to monitor foetal well-being in normal pregnancies beyond the estimated date of delivery but it probably serves little purpose prior to that. Well-designed controlled studies evaluating modalities for antepartum foetal monitoring are generally lacking. With the advance of medical science, more research should be focused on this aspect of obstetric care so that our practice can become more evidence-based.
Keywords: antepartum foetal monitoring, cardiotocography, foetal movement chart, high-risk pregnancy, symphysis-fundal height, ultrasonography
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(10): 830-836