A biophysical profile is a test that combines a non-stress test with ultrasound. A non-stress test 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
- Four areas assessed by ultrasound:
- fetal breathing movements
- fetal movements
- fetal tone
- amniotic fluid volume
Each of the five areas of the biophysical profile has a possible total score of two points, for a total of 10 points.
- Eight to ten is usually considered normal.
- Six is considered equivocal (uncertain).
- Four or less is considered abnormal.
If the score is questionable or abnormal, or if the amniotic fluid volume is too low, additional testing may be needed.