A mathematical model to simulate the cardiotocogram during labor. Part B: Parameter estimation and simulation of variable decelerations

Germaine J. L. M. Jongen*, M. Beatrijs van der Hout-van der Jagt, Frans N. van de Vosse, S. Guid Oei, Peter H. M. Bovendeerd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


During labor and delivery the cardiotocogram (CTG), the combined registration of fetal heart rate (FHR) and uterine contractions, is used to monitor fetal well-being. In part A of our study we introduced a new mathematical computer model for CTG simulation in order to gain insight into the complex relation between these signals. By reducing model complexity and by using physically more realistic descriptions, this model was improved with respect to our previous model. Aim of part B of this study is to gain insight into the cascade of events from uterine contractions causing combined uterine flow reduction and umbilical cord compression, resulting in blood and oxygen pressure variations, which lead to changes in FHR via the baro- and chemoreflex. In addition, we extensively describe and discuss the estimation of model parameter values. Simulation results are in good agreement with sheep data and show the ability of the model to describe variable decelerations. Despite reduced model complexity, parameter estimation still remains difficult due to limited clinical data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2474-2480
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2016


  • Fetal heart rate
  • Umbilical cord compression
  • Baroreflex
  • Chemoreflex
  • Computer simulation model

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