Contraction stress test

A contraction stress test (CST) measures the fetus's ability to tolerate the stress of uterine contractions started (induced) before true labor begins.

Electronic fetal heart monitoring is done during a contraction stress test to evaluate the fetus's heart rate during contractions. The fetus's heart rate during contractions helps evaluate the placenta's ability to provide enough oxygen to the fetus.

A contraction stress test that indicates the placenta is not supplying enough oxygen to the fetus will help the doctor determine the safest method of delivery.

A contraction stress test is also called an oxytocin challenge test.

Last Updated: June 28, 2008

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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