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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Apr;160(4):906-9.

Maternal weight loss associated with hyperemesis gravidarum: a predictor of fetal outcome.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Over a 5-year period in our center 64 patients were hospitalized with a diagnosis of hyperemesis gravidarum. Patients were classified into two groups to determine whether weight loss was an objective predictor of pregnancy outcome. Patients whose weight loss was greater than 5% of their prepregnancy weight were classified as group A (n = 30). Patients with nausea and vomiting of pregnancy but with maintenance of at least 95% of prepregnancy body weight were in group B (n = 34). Infants in group A were significantly smaller with respect to average birth weight expressed as a percentile for gestational age: 38.11 percentile, versus 72.00 percentile for group B (p less than 0.025). Macrosomia (greater than or equal to 4000 gm) was significantly associated with group B (18% versus group A, 0%; p less than 0.025). Growth retardation (less than or equal to 10th percentile weight at birth) was significantly associated with group A (30% versus group B, 6%; p less than 0.01). Three integumentary system abnormalities (3 of 30 cases) occurred in group A compared with none in group B. Although hyperemesis gravidarum has been viewed as a positive predictor, those patients who also demonstrate weight loss and electrolyte disturbance may be a distinct entity and at greater risk for growth retardation and fetal anomalies.

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