• birth-weight prediction;
  • Chinese population;
  • fractional thigh volume



To develop and validate new birth-weight prediction models in Chinese pregnant women using fractional thigh volume.


Healthy late third-trimester fetuses within 5 days of delivery were prospectively examined using two- (2D) and three- (3D) dimensional ultrasonography. Measurements were performed using 2D ultrasound for standard fetal biometry and 3D ultrasound for fractional thigh volume (TVol) and middle thigh circumference. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to analyze the inter- and intraobserver reliability of the 3D ultrasound measurements of 40 fetuses. Five birth-weight prediction models were developed using linear regression analysis, and these were compared with previously published models in a validation group.


Of the 290 fetuses studied, 100 were used in the development of prediction models and 190 in the validation of prediction models. The inter- and intraobserver variability for TVol and middle thigh circumference measurements was small (all ICCs ≥ 0.95). The prediction model using TVol, femur length (FL), abdominal circumference (AC) and biparietal diameter (BPD) provided the most precise birth-weight estimation, with a random error of 4.68% and R2 of 0.825. It correctly predicted 69.5 and 95.3% of birth weights to within 5 and 10% of actual birth weight. By comparison, the Hadlock model with standard fetal biometry (BPD, head circumference, AC and FL) gave a random error of 6.41%. The percentage of birth-weight prediction within 5 and 10% of actual birth weight was 46.3 and 82.6%, respectively.


Consistent with studies on Caucasian populations, a new birth-weight prediction model based on fractional thigh volume, BPD, AC and FL, is reliable during the late third trimester in a Chinese population, and allows better prediction than does the Hadlock model. Copyright © 2011 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.