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Antepartum Evaluation of the Fetus and Fetal Well Being


Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: September 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 3 - p 722–730
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e318253b318
Ambulatory Obstetric Care

Despite widespread use of many methods of antenatal testing, limited evidence exists to demonstrate effectiveness at improving perinatal outcomes. An exception is the use of Doppler ultrasound in monitoring high-risk pregnancies thought to be at risk of placental insufficiency. Otherwise, obstetricians should proceed with caution and approach the initiation of a testing protocol by obtaining an informed consent. When confronted with an abnormal test, clinicians should evaluate with a second antenatal test and consider administering betamethasone, performing amniocentesis to assess lung maturity, and/or repeating testing to minimize the chance of iatrogenic prematurity in case of a healthy fetus.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Correspondence: Erica O'Neill, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina, 101 Manning Drive, 3031 Old Clinic Building, Campus Box #7570, Chapel Hill, NC. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.