Sinusoidal Patterns

Sinusoidal patterns are rare but particularly ominous, belong to the NICHHD Category III, and are associated with a high rate of fetal morbidity and mortality. Sinusoidal patterns are characterized by a smooth, undulating, sine-wave pattern of 2 to 5 cycles/min and amplitude of 5 to 15 beats/min, with a notable absence of variability (Fig. 21-15). They occur with fetal anemia or severe hypoxia and need to be differentiated from a "pseudosinusoidal" pattern, which is a benign, uniform variability pattern with the preservation of beat-to-beat variability. Sinusoidal patterns are often ominous but are occasionally seen after the administration of narcotics to the mother.

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