Prospective trial on obstructive sleep apnea in pregnancy and fetal heart rate monitoring

Sofia A. Olivarez, Bani Maheshwari Ratan, Meghan McCarthy, Nikolaos Zacharias, Ignatia van den Veyver, Lata Casturi, Haleh Sangi-Haghpeykar, Kjersti Aagaard-Tillery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Objective: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) involves episodic nocturnal apneas. Using polysomnography, we examined the predictive capacity of screening questionnaires (Berlin) in pregnancy. Incorporating simultaneous fetal heart rate monitoring (FHM), we examined the association of maternal apnea with FHM abnormalities. Study Design: We enrolled 100 pregnant women at 26-39 weeks of gestation with OSA screening and baseline data ascertainment who underwent polysomnography and FHM for ≥3 hours. The relationship between maternal characteristics, OSA, and FHM was explored with multivariate analyses that were controlled for potential confounders. Results: When compared with polysomnography, sensitivity and specificity by Berlin screening was 35% and 63.8%, respectively; the snoring component of the Berlin correlated better with oxygen desaturation <95% (P = .003). Body mass index was a significant confounder (rs = 0.44; P < .0001). No association was observed between FHM abnormalities and OSA parameters. Conclusion: In pregnancy, the Berlin questionnaire poorly predicts OSA. It is unclear whether fetal compromise during maternal apnea is a mechanism in OSA that is related to pregnancy outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552.e1-552.e7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • fetal heart rate monitoring
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • polysomnography
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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