Feasibility of automated fetal fractional shortening measurement with two-dimensional tracking and construction of a reference range for normal fetuses

  • Sumito Nagasaki
  • Masahiko NakataEmail author
  • Mayumi Takano
  • Kento Usui
  • Junya Sakuma
  • Eijiro Hayata
  • Mineto Morita
Original Article—Obstetrics & Gynecology



To assess the feasibility of an automated fractional shortening (Auto FS) measurement method using two-dimensional tracking and to construct a reference range for normal fetuses.


This study was conducted from May 2017 to March 2018. First, cardiac motion in the four-chamber view was recorded in the B-mode. Subsequently, the region of interest was set on the edge of the ventricular septum or ventricular muscle at a point one-third away from the atrioventricular valve toward the cardiac apex. Tracking was automatically performed. Values measured between the ventricular septum and right ventricle were defined as R-Auto FS, whereas those measured between the ventricular septum and left ventricle were defined as L-Auto FS. Those on each ventricular muscle were defined as Combined-Auto FS.


Data were obtained from 131 singleton fetuses. R-Auto FS significantly decreased with an increase in the number of gestational weeks, and L-Auto FS and Combined-Auto FS showed the same tendency (Spearman’s correlation analysis: p = − .528, p = − .351, and p = − .636, respectively).


We succeeded in defining a reference Auto FS value for normal singleton pregnancies. Auto FS was negatively correlated with gestational age. This novel technique can assess fetal heart contractility.


Auto FS Fractional shortening Two-dimensional tracking method Fetal cardiac function 



This work was partially supported by JSPS KAKENHI (Grant No.: JP16K11114).

Author contributions

Sumito Nagasaki designed the study and wrote the initial manuscript draft. Masahiko Nakata contributed to the analysis and interpretation of data and assisted in the preparation of the manuscript. All other authors contributed to data collection and interpretation, and critically reviewed the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All declare that they there is conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This manuscript has not been published or presented elsewhere in part or in entirety and is not under consideration by another journal. All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 and later versions. All study participants provided informed consent, and the study design was approved by the appropriate ethics review board.


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Copyright information

© The Japan Society of Ultrasonics in Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sumito Nagasaki
    • 1
    • 2
  • Masahiko Nakata
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mayumi Takano
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kento Usui
    • 2
  • Junya Sakuma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eijiro Hayata
    • 2
  • Mineto Morita
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyToho University Graduate School of MedicineOta CityJapan
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyToho University Omori Medical CenterTokyoJapan

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