Comparison of spontaneous contraction rates of in situ and isolated fetal hearts in early pregnancy

B. A. Resch, J. Papp, F. E. Szontagh, L. Szekeres

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Abstract

Hearts were isolated surgically from healthy human fetuses at legal termination of pregnancy and a systematic comparison between their age and spontaneous contraction rate was made. It was found that in weeks 5 to 9 of pregnancy there is a slight increase in spontaneous frequency of isolated fetal hearts which is followed by a marked decrease in weeks 9 to 15. The fetal heart rate (FHR) in utero was also found to slow progressively in the period from weeks 8 to 15 of gestation, and at this stage there was no significant difference between the in utero FHR values and those obtained in isolated hearts at 37°C. It is concluded that a gradual decrease in the intrinsic rhythmicity of the sinoatrial pacemaker tissue is mainly responsible for the decreasing FHR pattern characteristic of early pregnancy and that the influence of the developing parasympathetic nervous control of the heart has major significance only at a later stage of pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-76
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume118
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1974

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Fetal Heart
Fetal Heart Rate
Pregnancy
Periodicity
Fetus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Cite this

Comparison of spontaneous contraction rates of in situ and isolated fetal hearts in early pregnancy. / Resch, B. A.; Papp, J.; Szontagh, F. E.; Szekeres, L.

In: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 118, No. 1, 1974, p. 73-76.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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