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Functioning of Cardiotocograph (CTG)

Apr 04, 2017

Functioning of Cardiotocograph (CTG)

Cardiotocograph or Electronic Fetal Monitor is a machine which is used to record uterine contractions and fetal heartbeat during pregnancy. CTG basically assesses the well being of the fetus. The device was invented by Alan Bradfield, Edward Hon and Orvan Hess. A better version of it was later developed by Konrad Hammacher for Hewlett Packard.

External CTG helps monitor the fetal heart rate and uterine muscle activity with the help of 2 transducers placed on abdomen of mother. The information provided by Doppler USG is recorded on the strip of paper called cardiotocograph. The external CTG shows beginning and end of uterine contractions and its frequency but it does not show the strength of contractions. To measure the strength of contractions, a catheter is placed inside the uterus and connected to an internal fetal monitor. Internal CTG uses an electronic transducer which is connected to the scalp of fetus through the cervical opening of mother. It provides a more accurate fetal heart rate as external movement does not affect it. It is used when fetal heart rate is inadequate and closer monitoring is required. However internal CTG can be used only when the birth membranes have ruptured naturally or artificially and the cervix is open.

Latest Research: Continuous CTG Vs Intermittent CTG

A recent research was done to compare the efficacy of doing continuous CTG and intermittent CTG monitoring over 37,000 women. It was found that there was no difference in numbers of babies who died during or after labor. Moreover fits in babies occurred less often when continuous CTG was used than in intermittent CTG. There was no difference in the rate of CP between groups. In case of continuous monitoring, more deliveries were made by caesarean section. Also, there was no difference in cases of cord blood acidosis, or women using any pain relief drugs.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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