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Keywords:

  • Ultrasound;
  • Growth Standards;
  • Customization;
  • Perinatal Outcome;
  • Estimated Fetal Weight;
  • Fetal Weight Gain

Abstract

Objective

To study fetal weight gain and its association with adverse perinatal events in a serially scanned high-risk population.

Subjects and methods A total of 200 pregnant women considered at increased risk of uteroplacental insufficiency had a total of 1140 scans in the third trimester, with a median of six scans in each pregnancy. The average fetal growth rate was retrospectively calculated for the last 6 weeks to birth, and expressed as daily weight gain in grams per day. Adverse pregnancy outcome was defined as operative delivery for fetal distress, acidotic umbilical artery pH (< 7.15), or admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Results

Fetuses with normal outcome in this high-risk pregnancy population had an average antenatal growth rate of 24.2 g/day. Compared to pregnancies with normal outcome, the growth rate was slower in those that required operative delivery for fetal distress (20.9 g/day, p < 0.05) and those that required admission to the NICU (20.3 g/day, p < 0.05). The growth rate in pregnancies resulting in acidotic umbilical artery pH also seemed lower, but this did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusions

Impaired fetal weight gain prior to birth is associated with adverse perinatal events suggestive of growth failure. Copyright © 1999 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology