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March 26, 2016
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1 Introduction



In medicine (obstetrics) cardiotocography (CTG) is a technical means of recording (-graphy) the fetus|fetal pulse|heartbeat (cardio-) and the uterus|uterine contraction (childbirth)|contractions (-toco-) during childbirth. CTG can be used to identify signs of fetal distress.

Recordings are done by two separate electrodes, one for the measurement of the fetus|fetal pulse and a second one for the contraction (childbirth)|contractions.

External measurement means taping or strapping the electrodes to the abdomen|abdominal wall, with the heart electrode overlying the fetal heart and the contraction electrode measuring the tension of the abdominal wall, an indirect measure of the intrauterine pressure.

Internal measurement requires a certain degree of cervix|cervical dilatation, as it involves inserting a pressure catheter into the uterine cavity, as well as attaching a scalp electrode to the child's head to adequately measure the pulse. Internal measurement is more precise, and might be preferable when a complicated childbirth is expected.

A typical CTG reading is printed on paper or stored on a computer terminal for later reference.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cardiotocography".

Last Modified:   2005-12-23

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