Fetal Biophysical Profile (BPP)

A biophysical profile (BPP) is a prenatal ultrasound evaluation of fetal wellbeing, involving a scoring system.

It is often done when a non-stress test (NST) is non reactive, or for other obstetrical indications. A BPP normally is not performed before the second half of a pregnancy, since fetal breathing movements do not occur in the first half.

This is a non-invasive procedure that involves an ultrasound that looks at four aspects of fetal activity and environment: fetal "breathing", muscle tone, body movements, and amniotic fluid.

Each ultrasound assessment is graded either 0 or 2 points, and then added up to yield a number between 0 and 8. Each variable receives 2 points for a normal response or 0 points for an abnormal or absent response. A BPP of 6 to 8 is generally considered reassuring.

This is then interpreted along with the non-stress test (NST) to determine if the baby is in any danger.

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