Biophysical Profile (BPP)
The biophysical profile combines ultrasound with the nonstress test to assess 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
- Fetal heart rate
- Fetal breathing
- Fetal body movement
- Fetal muscle tone
The biophysical profile consists of individual scores on each of these factors as well as a total score. 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 Get 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 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.
Kids Health for Parents
Last reviewed July 2007 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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