The nonstress test is a commonly used tool for fetal well-being assessment. The antenatal death rate using the nonstress test as a primary modality is significantly higher than that with the use of the contraction stress test. The nonstress test is commonly performed on a once-a-week basis. The rate of stillbirths with reactive nonstress tests, performed once week, was 6.1 per 1000 in the authors' previously published report. Nonstress tests were performed on a twice-a-week basis beginning January 1981, and results are reported on 913 such patients. The rate of stillbirths with reactive nonstress tests was reduced to 1.9 per 1000 in this second group. It is suggested that the patients who are at risk for fetal stress should be evaluated on a twice-a-week basis when the nonstress test is used as the primary test.
© 1986 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists