A biophysical profile (BPP) is a test that combines a non-stress test with ultrasound.
A non-stress test (NST) measures the fetal heart rate in response to the movements of the fetus. An ultrasound is a diagnostic technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs. Biophysical profile testing is usually performed in the last trimester of pregnancy.
There are five parts to a biophysical profile:
- the non-stress test
- plus four areas assessed by ultrasound:
- fetal breathing movements
- fetal movements
- fetal tone
- amniotic fluid volume
Biophysical Profile Scoring
Each of the five areas of the biophysical profile has a possible total score of two points, for a total of 10 points.
If the score is questionable or abnormal, or if the amniotic fluid volume is too low, additional testing may be needed.