fetal hypoxia

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fetal hypoxia

Low levels of oxygen in the fetus, commonly as a result of diminished placental perfusion, uteroplacental insufficiency, or compression of the umbilical cord. The condition is often accompanied by acidosis and is life-threatening unless prompt interventions are undertaken to restore well-oxygenated blood to the fetus. Signs of early fetal hypoxia include tachycardia and increased variability of the fetal heart rate; profound fetal hypoxia is characterized by bradycardia and a sinusoidal fetal heart rate pattern.
See also: hypoxia


a broad term meaning diminished availability of oxygen to the body tissues.
Its causes are many and varied. There may be a deficiency of oxygen in the atmosphere, as in altitude sickness, or a pulmonary disorder that interferes with adequate ventilation of the lungs. Anemia or circulatory deficiencies can lead to inadequate transport and delivery of oxygen to the tissues. Finally, edema or other abnormal conditions of the tissues themselves may impair the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the capillaries and the tissues. The effect of hypoxia is to reduce the functional activity of tissues. The initial response may be one of temporarily increased activity. Terminally the tissue may be irreparably damaged.

anemic hypoxia
due to inadequate supply of hemoglobin in the blood.
cerebral hypoxia
may be acute or chronic causing either a tremor-convulsion syndrome or one of longer term weakness, ataxia, apparent blindness and lethargy.
fetal hypoxia
occurs as a result of deprivation of the fetus of oxygen during parturition, because it is delayed or the umbilical cord pinched off. Clinically there is weakness, imbecility, disinclination to suck, possibly hypothermia. Foals experience a much more violent, convulsive or dummy syndrome. See also neonatal maladjustment syndrome. Called also intrapartum hypoxia.
intrapartum hypoxia
see fetal hypoxia (above).
ischemic hypoxia
insufficient oxygen in tissues because of an inadequate blood supply.
stagnant hypoxia
inadequate supply of oxygen to tissues because of slow rate of passage of the blood through the tissues.
References in periodicals archive ?
38,97) I share the opinion that the presence of meconium macrophages is a nonspecific feature of fetal hypoxia and indicative of fetal stress, rather than distress, in most cases, (91) unless numerous meconium macrophages are seen deep in the decidua parietalis.
100) The placenta features a high reserve capacity so that placental signs of fetal hypoxia are far less common than are those of pure placental hypoxia.
Chorangiosis and its precursors: Underdiagnosed placental indicators of chronic fetal hypoxia.
Oxygen and placental villous development: origins of fetal hypoxia.
40] Placental insufficiency could induce fetal hypoxia, which has the potential of leading to higher HbF fractions in growth-restricted infants.
Higher HbF fractions were observed in newborns exposed to well-documented risk factors for SIDS that are markers for maternal or fetal hypoxia, compared to newborns not exposed to those factors.
Infants exposed in utero to factors that may result in or be markers for relative maternal or fetal hypoxia had higher levels of HbF at birth.
Chronic fetal hypoxia and sudden infant death syndrome: interactions between maternal smoking and low hematocrit during pregnancy.
One possibility is that the permeability of the blood-brain barrier changes as a result of fetal hypoxia.
As such, rather than as a marker of fetal brain damage per se, detection of increases in S100B may better serve as an early clinical marker of fetal hypoxia, particularly in combination with evidence of redistribution of blood flow, which if persistent may lead to fetal brain damage.
We speculate that, even in the face of shoulder dystocia with a nuchal cord, some cord circulation may continue, and that severing the cord may contribute to fetal hypoxia and hypotension during the time it takes to resolve the dystocia.