Ikeda, T., Y. Murata, E. J. Quilligan, P. Cifuentes, S. Doi and S. D. Park. Two sinusoidal heart rate patterns in fetal lambs undergoing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 180:462-468, 1999.

OBJECTIVES: The study analyzed the phase relationship between fetal heart rate and arterial blood pressure fluctuation during sinusoidal heart rate patterns in fetal lambs. STUDY DESIGN: Thirty-two fetal lambs were placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation after cesarean delivery at ages ranging between 113 and 133 days' gestation. Sinusoidal heart rate patterns persisting for >10 minutes were analyzed. The relationships between the sinusoidal heart rate cycles and the arterial blood pressure cycles were quantitatively expressed in degrees by timing the zenith and the nadir of each and assigning a phase-angle index (with 0 [360] and 180 degrees being synchronized and reciprocal, respectively). Simultaneous blood samples were taken from the 4 different sites of the fetal circulation for blood gas and acid-base analysis when the sinusoidal heart rate pattern appeared. Regional cerebral blood flow was determined by means of the colored microsphere technique in 8 fetuses with sinusoidal patterns and 7 control fetuses. RESULTS: Sinusoidal heart rate patterns were observed in 13 (40.6%) of the 32 fetal lambs. Two types of fetal heart rate and arterial blood pressure relationship could be recognized during sinusoidal pattern, the reciprocal type (n = 7) and the synchronized type (n = 9). A reciprocal type of sinusoidal pattern preceded a synchronized type pattern in 3 lambs that showed sinusoidal patterns at different stages of the experiment. The reciprocal type was associated with a higher baseline heart rate and amplitude of the sinusoidal heart rate pattern than was the synchronized type. The synchronized type was associated with a lower pH and base excess than was the reciprocal type. The cerebral blood flow in the medulla oblongata was significantly lower during the synchronized type pattern than during the reciprocal type pattern. CONCLUSION: There are 2 types of sinusoidal heart rate pattern. A synchronized type sinusoidal heart rate pattern may indicate more advanced fetal compromise than is associated with a reciprocal type pattern.