Evaluation of fetal thigh circumference measurements: A comparative ultrasound and anatomical study



This investigation is concerned with establishing the anatomical location of the site proposed for making fetal thigh circumference (ThC) measurements with ultrasound.1 An evaluation of the accuracy of ultrasonic ThC measurements has also been made. The results of these studies indicate that the change in femur profile (polygonal to oval) used to identify the site of measurement (transition plane) occurs at the junction of the upper and middle thirds of the thigh, at the level of the proximal nutrient foramen of the femur. Ultrasonic ThC measurements are systematically larger (mean: 4.3%; range: 1.3–10.3%) than comparable anatomical measurements. Measurements made within 1–2 cm of the transition plane are quite similar, demonstrating that exact positioning of the plane is not necessary. These results indicate that ThC measurements can be made in a reliable manner and thus could be used to detect changes in soft tissue mass and improve weight estimation procedures.