Intraabdominal sound levels during vibroacoustic stimulation

Ernest M. Graham, Aemil J.M. Peters, Robert M. Abrams, Kenneth J. Gerhardt, David J. Burchfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Vibroacoustic stimulation is widely used in the United States as a test for fetal well-being, yet little information is available on the adequacy of the electronic artificial larynx that is commonly used as the stimulator. To determine whether the intraabdominal sound pressure level was dependent on the static force applied to the electronic artificial larynx, we measured the sound pressure level at a position 20 cm from the surface of the anterior abdominal wall in nonpregnant ewes. The electronic artificial larynx was pressed against the surface with three levels of static force: mild, moderate, and strong. Between mild and strong static forces there was a trend toward a reduction in sound pressure level at the fundamental frequency (85 Hz) and the overtones (170 to 1600 Hz) (p < 0.08). To further examine the relationship between the static force of sound source against the abdomen and the intraabdominal sound pressure level, sine wave oscillations between 20 Hz and 4.0 kHz were produced with an industrial shaker. With a constant dynamic force (0.16 N) applied to the shaker across frequencies, the sound pressure level was greatest at lower frequencies (100 to 110 dB) and less at higher frequencies, above 1.0 kHz (60 to 80 dB). Consistent with the electronic artificial larynx experiments, strong application of the shaker resulted in greater transmission of sound than did mild application (p < 0.02).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1140-1144
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Vibroacoustic stimulation test
  • intraabdominal sound pressure level

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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