Ethnicity impact on fetal monitoring during labor

Objective. Our society is becoming increasingly more multi-ethnic. This fact could have an effect on several etiopathologies and outcomes of treatment. Therefore, there might also be an effect on the obstetric field. Cardiotocography is the most common way to assess fetal well-being in labour and some researchers also highlighted a possible variability of the CTG trace considering the ethnicity.
The main aim of this study was to analyze whether different ethnicities might cause differences in the analysis of CTG traces and therefore influence clinical conduct.
Patients and Methods. This is a descriptive cross-sectional research comparing CTGs performed during labour. Our sample is constituted by pregnant women at 37-42 weeks in a Maternal-Fetal Medical Center in Northern Italy (A.O.U. Maggiore della Carità, Novara), divided into different groups according to the patient’s and her partner’s ethnicity.
Results. No statistically significant maternal or neonatal differences were observed between the different groups. Neonatal sex was equally distributed. The Apgar index was in the normal range for all groups at both one minute and five minutes, except for two newborns. There were no statistically significant differences in the fetal weight. Almost all women delivered vaginally. Black group showed 4 minutes more of reduced variability (on average) than other groups.
No significant differences occurred in the CTGs parameters between the different ethnic groups of women in labour.
Conclusions. Our results would seem encouraging about the use of CTG with equal expectations for all patients, regardless of ethnicity. This is the reason why our research could have useful implications in clinical choices: the CTG trace remains a valid tool for obstetric decision making for all women of any ethnic group.

Table of Content: Vol. 34 (No. 3) 2022 September

Remember that the download is free only for personal use. If you want to utilize articles for large distribution, please contact us at