Fetal biometry at 4300 m compared to sea level in Peru

Authors

  • E. Krampl,

    Corresponding author
    1. Harris Birthright Research Center for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK
    • King's College Hospital, Harris Birthright Research Center for Fetal Medicine, 9th Floor Ruskin Wing, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK
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  • C. Lees,

    1. Harris Birthright Research Center for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK
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  • J. M. Bland,

    1. Department of Public Health Sciences, St. George's Hospital Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK
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  • J. Espinoza Dorado,

    1. Harris Birthright Research Center for Fetal Medicine, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK
    2. Instituto Materno Perinatal, Jiron Antonio Miroquesada 149, Lima, Peru
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  • G. Moscoso,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St. George's Hospital Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK
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  • S. Campbell

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St. George's Hospital Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK
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Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study was to compare ultrasound fetal size at high altitude and sea level.

Methods

Three hundred and thirty-four women in Cerro de Pasco at 4300 m (14 100 ft) altitude and 278 women in Lima (sea level) were recruited to the study. Ultrasound fetal biometry was carried out between 14 and 42 weeks of gestation. Biparietal diameter, occipitofrontal diameter, abdominal circumference and femur length were measured and head circumference and estimated fetal weight were derived from these data. Two hundred and seventy-seven women (82.9%) in Cerro de Pasco and 216 (77.7%) in Lima had normal singleton pregnancies and certain menstrual dates. These women were selected for statistical analysis. Fractional polynomial regression analysis on gestational age was performed, controlling for maternal height and parity.

Results

Fetal biometry measurements were significantly smaller in Cerro de Pasco compared with Lima. When gestation bands were compared this effect was present from 25 to 29 weeks onwards, and was greater in the abdominal circumference than in the head circumference and femur length (ratios Cerro de Pasco: Lima, 0.96, 0.97 and 0.98, respectively). Estimated fetal weight was also significantly lower in Cerro de Pasco (ratio 0.88), as were birthweights (ratio 0.88). If the centiles derived from the Lima population were applied for Cerro de Pasco, 11.2% of all estimated fetal weights would be below the fifth centile, and 1.08% above the ninety-fifth.

Conclusions

These data suggest that at high altitude, all fetal biometry measurements follow a lower trajectory than at sea level. Specific biometry charts should therefore be used for obstetric ultrasound at high altitude. Copyright © 2000 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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