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Assessing Cardiac and Neurological Maturation During the Intrauterine Period

Authors
Journal
Seminars in Perinatology
0146-0005
Publisher
Elsevier - WB Saunders
Publication Date
Volume
32
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1053/j.semperi.2008.04.006
Keywords
  • Fetal Magnetoenecephalogram
  • Fetal Magnetocardiogram
  • Hrv Measures
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Medicine
  • Physics

Abstract

The world's first magnetoencephalography (MEG) system specifically designed for fetal and newborn assessment has been installed at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. This noninvasive system called SARA (SQUID Array for Reproductive Assessment) consists of 151 primary superconducting sensors that detect biomagnetic fields from the human body. Since the installation of SARA, significant progress has been made toward the ultimate goal of developing a clinical neurological assessment tool for the developing fetus. Using appropriate analysis techniques, cardiac and brain signals are recorded and studied to gain new understanding of fetal maturation. It is clear from our investigations that a combination of assessment protocols including both fetal heart and brain activity is necessary for the development of a comprehensive new method of fetal neurological testing. We plan to implement such a test protocol for fetuses at high risk for neurological impairment due to certain maternal risk factors and/or fetal diagnostic findings.

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