Scalp blood lactate for intra-partum assessment of fetal metabolic acidosis

Ayesha M. F. Heinis*, Marc E. Spaanderman, Jacqueline M. T. Klein Gunnewiek, Fred K. Lotgering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To study to what extent the fetal scalp blood lactate concentration during labor correlates with fetal scalp pH and base deficit, and metabolic acidosis at birth, and to suggest lactate cut-off values to serve as indicators for either reassurance or immediate intervention.A retrospective observational study.Labor ward at a university medical center.Fetal scalp and cord blood samples with acid-base and lactate values from 486 singleton pregnancies beyond 34 weeks' gestation.The relation between lactate, pH and base deficit (BD) in fetal scalp blood was tested by Spearman's rho correlation coefficient. Lactate cut-off values indicating either reassuring fetal status or immediate intervention were estimated using percentile distribution and compared with pH and BD.Metabolic acidosis, defined as umbilical cord artery pH below 7.05 and BD calculated for the blood compartment above 12 mmol/l.After 127 (21%) exclusions, 486 cases were available for analysis. Fetal lactate values increased with evolving metabolic acidosis. Lactate concentration correlated with both pH (r=-0.50, p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1114
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Carditocography
  • fetal scalp blood
  • lactate
  • base deficit
  • metabolic acidosis

Cite this