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Spectral analysis of fetal heart rate in sheep occurrence of respiratory sinus arrhythmia


, : Spectral analysis of fetal heart rate in sheep occurrence of respiratory sinus arrhythmia. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 148(8): 1130-1135

Respiratory sinus arrhythmia is a pattern of rhythmic variation in the heart rate that occurs at the frequency of respiration and is mediated principally by the vagus nerve. Spectral analysis can decompose the variance of a series of sequential measures into constituent frequencies to measure and verify whether there is respiratory sinus arrhythmia in utero in the fetal lamb. Recordings of heart period were obtained from electrodes implanted under fetal skin in 6 chronic preparations. Respiratory rate and heart period were recorded immediately after delivery and daily for the next 5 days. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia was clearly demonstrated in the neonatal lambs, and the same frequency of respiratory sinus arrhythmia was observed in the fetus and in the newborn lamb (0.8-0.1 Hz). There was a reproducible pattern of change in respiratory sinus arrhythmia from 27 days before delivery until term, with a decline in the amplitude of respiratory sinus arrhythmia 4-8 days before delivery. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia was demonstrated in fetal sheep and may serve as an indicator of CNS integrity in the fetus and neonate.

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