Biophysical Profile (BPP)
The biophysical profile combines ultrasound with the nonstress test as an assessment of the physical health of the fetus. These tests are performed late in pregnancy as the fetus matures. The following information is typically gathered:
- The amount of amniotic fluid (ultrasound)
- Fetal heart rate (nonstress test)
- Fetal breathing (ultrasound)
- Fetal body movement (ultrasound)
- Fetal muscle tone (ultrasound)
The biophysical profile consists of a numerical score on each of these individual assessments as well as a total numerical score as the sum of each test. The score may be used by your healthcare provider to determine if special care and certain adjustments are needed during your pregnancy and delivery.
Who Should Undergo This Test?
Your healthcare provider may recommend this test, as well as other tests, if you have a medical condition that could put you at risk for having problems with your pregnancy. Examples of conditions that could put you and your baby at risk include:
- ]]>High blood pressure]]>
- Too much or too little amniotic fluid
- Kidney disease
- ]]>Heart disease]]>
- Post-term pregnancy
- Multiple pregnancy (two or more fetuses)
Your healthcare provider may suggest other tests to gather important information about the health of your fetus. A problematic test result often suggests that you need special care. It does not necessarily mean that your fetus is in trouble. Your healthcare provider will be able to answer questions and discuss any concerns you have about this form of monitoring.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Academy of Family Physicians
Kids Health for Parents
Women's Health Matters
Last reviewed January 2009 by ]]>Ganson Purcell Jr., MD, FACOG, FACPE ]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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