Longitudinal distance standards of fetal growth
Source: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, Volume 79, Number 3, March 2000 , pp. 165-173(9)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Most ultrasonographic fetal growth norms are derived from cross-sectional data or from longitudinal data treated as coming from cross-sectional studies, although only longitudinal models may detect particular aspects of fetal growth shape, such as peak of growth velocity. Materials and methods.
The sample included 238 singleton normal pregnancies. All the fetal traits under study (biparietal diameter, occipito-frontal diameter, head circumference, femur diaphysis length and abdomen circumference) were measured according to the classical ultrasound techniques by highly trained operators. Individual growth profiles (made up of 5 to 9 measures) were taken at regular intervals between the 12th and the 40th week. Growth norms were traced by means of a two-stage linear model: (I) a 3-constant fetal growth function was fitted to each individual growth profile, (II) growth centiles were based upon the weighted mean and covariance matrix of the individual growth constants. Results.
Fetal growth curves show a sigmoid shape with a maximum slope (i.e. a peak growth velocity) which occurs earlier for head diameters (about 18 weeks), later for femur diaphysis length (20 weeks) and abdomen circumference (22 weeks). During intrauterine growth, all traits show a progressive increase in interindividual variability, which is more prominent for abdomen circumference. Conclusion.
The mathematical model applied to a large sample of growth profiles provided a satisfactory description of the individual fetal development and its biological variability, and allowed the construction of longitudinal distance standards useful for clinical purposes. Note
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Pediatric Department, Institute ‘G. Gaslini’, University of Genova, Genoa, the 2: Neonatal Unit, the 3: Auxology Service, and the 4: Obstetrics & Gynaecology Department, University of Torino, Turin, the 5: Institute of Medical Statistics & Biometry, University of Milano, Milan, and the 6: Obstetrics & Gynaecology Department, Institute ‘G. Gaslini’ of Genova, Genoa, Italy
Publication date: March 2000