foetal assessment (biophysical profile)
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).
- (1) Lalor JG et al. Biophysical profile for fetal assessment in high risk pregnancies. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD000038
Last reviewed 01/2018