Faculty of Medicine

Lund University

Antenatal and intrapartum fetal surveillance

Principal investigator; Olofsson, Per, Adjunct Professor, MD/PhD

Clinical speciality: Obstetrics and gynaecology

Phone: +4640332167

Co-workers: Pia Saldeen, MD/PhD, Hui Li, MD/PhD, Margareta Kitlinski, MD/PhD, Jing Fu, MD/PhD, Karin Källén, PhD, Saemundur Gudmundsson, MD/PhD, Ricardo Laurini, MD/PhD, Lena Engellau, MD/PhD

The aim of fetal surveillance is to detect deviations from the normal at an early stage and to intervene timely to avoid death and later handicap. It then also includes fetal exposure to medical drugs and maternal characteristics. The project includes clinical and experimental studies aimed to (1) develop new methods for fetal surveillance; (2) refine established methods for fetal surveillance; (3) experimentally investigate biochemical and physical mechanisms in fetal physiological and pathophysiological states; (4) define gestational age-related reference values for umbilical cord blood gases and lactate to indicate fetal hypoxic exposure and anaerobic metabolism; (5) define reference values for other compounds measured in umbilical cord blood and evaluate their ability to identify newborns at risk; (6) identify cord blood biomarkers for increased risk of developing neurological handicaps; (7) investigate maternal arterial stiffness in relation to uterine blood flow and the ability to modulate vascular elasticity with dietary regimens.

The project includes the following fields of research: (A) Uterine, placental, and fetal circulation during chronic and provoked fetal hypoxemia; (B) detection of biomarkers in umbilical cord blood for prediction of later neurological handicap; (C) Impact of perinatal risk factors and fetal brain-sparing on the development of ADHD in childhood, with special reference to environmental pollutants; (D) Intrapartum fetal temperature monitoring; (E) Intrapartum fetal oxygen saturation; (F) Umbilical cord blood gases, lactate and other cord blood compounds in relation to gestational age; (G) maternal arterial stiffnes relative to uterine blood flow abnormalities and influence by medical drugs (oxygen, nitrous oxide, oxytocin, carbocitin) and dark chocolate.

The current studies will improve our understanding of physiological and pathophysiological fetal responses, which is of utmost importance for an optimal management and timing of delivery in high-risk pregnancies. The project will also provide new diagnostic features and new measures for obstetric and neonatal care quality assurance. It will also identify adverse maternal cardiovascular effects of medical drugs commonly used in obstetrics, and possibly also show if antixidant therapy with dark chocolate has a beneficial effect on maternal arterial stiffness and fetal blood flow parameters.

Link to project homepage: http://

5 recent original publications

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Fu J, Olofsson P
Intracerebral regional distribution of blood flow in response to uterine contractions in growth-restricted human fetuses
Early Human Development. 2007; 83: 607-12

Wiberg N, Källén K, Olofsson P
Base deficit estimation in umbilical cord blood is influenced by gestational age, choice of fetal fluid compartment, and algorithm for calculation
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2006; 195: 1651-6

Wiberg N, Källén K, Olofsson P
Physiological development of a mixed metabolic and respiratory umbilical cord blood acidemia with advancing gestational age
Early Human Development. 2006; 82: 583-9

Kitlinski M, Källén K, Marsál K, Olofsson P
Skewed fetal gender distribution in prolonged pregnancy: a fallacy with consequences
Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2003; 21: 1-5

Further publications here (new window)


Total financing:   0.6 MSEK      Gov grant for clinical research ("ALF"):   0.3 MSEK
Total external financing:   0.3 MSEK      Natl and intl prioritized grants:   0 MSEK

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