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Foetal assessment (biophysical profile)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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This is a method of foetal assessment that is based on various biophysical variables which are assessed by ultrasonography. These are listed below:

  • fetal breathing movements
  • gross body movements
  • foetal tone
  • reactive foetal heart rate (on CTG monitor)
  • qualitative amniotic fluid volume

Each component is given 2 points if normal and 0 points if abnormal. If the total score is greater than or equal to 8 then the examination is considered normal.

A score of 4 or 6 is equivocal.

A score of 2 or 0 is abnormal and represents an indication for immediate delivery.

A systematic review concluded that, at present, there is insufficient evidence from randomised trials to support the use of Biophysical profile as a test of fetal wellbeing in high-risk pregnancies (1).


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