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Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Apr;14(2):127-35.

Intrauterine growth restriction.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


Pathophysiological processes underlying intrauterine growth restriction are very complex and poorly understood. Growth restricted fetuses are at risk of hypoxia and, therefore, an early diagnosis of intrauterine growth restriction is important for initiation of fetal surveillance. Application of a three-dimensional ultrasound method for estimation of fetal weight promises better precision. Use of conditional standard deviation scores of fetal biometric variables has been suggested for improved individualized evaluation of intrauterine growth. Application of umbilical artery Doppler velocimetry in the clinical management of growth-restricted fetuses after 32 weeks of gestation leads to decreased perinatal mortality and lower rates of obstetric interventions. Evaluation of fetal state before 32 weeks is difficult and should include Doppler examination of placental circulation and several fetal arterial and venous vessel beds. In addition, recordings of short-term variability of fetal heart rate and biophysical profile have been suggested for fetal surveillance. Important new data on the time sequence of Doppler changes in various vessels of compromised very preterm growth restricted fetuses have been presented, which will enable the establishment of clinical management protocols for evaluation in prospective randomized studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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